Bending the mold

Dad was always sure he knew the way the world should work.

As I grew up, this annoyed me sometimes.

As I’ve aged, it has been such a comfort. I realize now it was a comfort even back then, although I was not wise enough to recognize that fact.

My father was not a man you would sit and talk business or politics with for hours. He did not really enjoy cracking a book open. Global warming did not interest him. Neither did the stock market.

His view of the world was simple and folksy. As I angsted over the nuances of a boyfriend’s tone or which details I would need for my final in world history, he had far less (or more, depending on how you look at it) important things on his mind.Fotolia_73619634_Subscription_Monthly_XXL

Like whether I was eating my vegetables, at least one banana a day and had dessert. All, he felt, were somehow crucial to my growing up happy and healthy.

He wanted to know I had noticed the beauty of the sunset, the geese landing on our local pond, that the rose bushes had bloomed overnight.

He made sure my mother had yellow roses, which she had carried on their wedding day, for every special occasion and some random days in between those occasions.

His lawn was always perfectly mowed, his flower beds spaded, his yard weed-free.

He could cook better than any of the females in his house (and there were seven of us), so you did not want to try to best his salmon. But, bake him a lemon square or cookie of any variety and he lit up like a Christmas tree whether it was your best effort or a painful flop. Baking was the way to his heart.

I’ve written before in this space that while my father may not have been a successful businessman, he was an artist of life and beauty. When he told me I was beautiful, I saw it in his eyes. He believed it. Which made it easier for my angsty teenaged self to believe it was in me.

None of this is earth shattering. But being taught to appreciate food, drink, beauty, nature, hard work, caring gestures—this is world changing. This is what helps the world to be kinder, gentler, a nicer place to be. And that learning does not always have to come from the females of the world. Plenty of men do this well.

Here’s to all the fathers this Father’s Day who may not fit the traditional mold, but who bend it in the most beautiful way.

Those of you raised by one, married to one or rearing such a man have raised your glass already.



20 Comments Add yours

  1. susicx says:

    Reblogged this on susicx.

  2. Roy McCarthy says:

    Nice that you have such appreciation of your Dad’s ability to pass on to his best values Kay. I can’t claim the same really but my Dad certainly showed me how to put in an honest day’s work and not to rely on anyone else and to battle on when things get tough.

    1. candidkay says:

      Those are things worth learning, Roy:). Battling on is something we can learn only by example and through tough times. He showed you a few invaluable life lessons.

  3. Your father sounds like a deep, wonderful man with a great set of values. I wish more Dads were like him.

  4. Not sure what happened there. Let’s try again…lovely post. I married one of those. Men are really incredible when they are allowed out of the box society tends to put them in. So happy you were raised by such a wonderful man.

    1. candidkay says:

      It takes a special woman to appreciate such a man. I think that is changing as our stereotypes change. Thank goodness:).

  5. Lovely. I’m married to

  6. This was a heartfelt post of love for your father. I especially admire the way he was able to make you believe in yourself.

  7. Dani says:

    “When he told me I was beautiful, I saw it in his eyes. He believed it. Which made it easier for my angsty teenaged self to believe it was in me.”

    What a blessing this is!
    What a blessing.

    Under the same sky,

    1. candidkay says:

      It truly was a blessing, Dani:). Thanks for noticing–and reading!

  8. Lovely and beautifully written, as always.

  9. Your dad really appreciated the important things and it was a gift that he obviously passed them on to you.

  10. Amy says:

    Your dad had his priorities straight, and he passed them along to you. He is an integral part of what makes you the beautiful woman you are. You are his living legacy: like your father before you, you are an artist of life and beauty.

    What a loving tribute, my friend. . . Hugs to you, and much love~

    1. candidkay says:

      Take an artist of life and beauty to recognize one, Amy:). Thank you for the kind words and the beauty you share with all of us who follow your blog . . .

  11. Your Dad sounds like a wonderful Man Kay. Beautiful post. 🙂

  12. Beautifully written kay. They seem to be a dying breed, but it is good to know that at least he knows where his heart is 🙂 Happy Fathers day to your dad too! Mark

  13. The way you describe your father evokes a sense of inspiration. I wish the world had more men like him, who raise daughters like you!

    1. candidkay says:

      I think many of us are raising men like this! Bodes well for the world:).

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