With today being Father’s Day and all, I decided to dedicate this post to my father. I am the first of four children in my family- girl, girl, boy, girl. Growing up in the mid-late sixties and seventies, my dad was what I believe was the typical dad of those times. He worked long hours and when he came home, he wanted to relax in front of the tv or listening to his music. He might have been sort of hands off and not demonstrative at all but I have never doubted his love for a single second. I know that a show of affection is nice and all but there’s something to be said for the ability…..the power…..of conveying that love and feeling it that deeply without it being on display for all to see.
My dad loves football and baseball. I do not. He went on to share his love of baseball with my youngest sister, my mother and my nephews. He came to every single one of my kids’ sporting events- some early soccer and football and then floor hockey until Kris was on the swim team. He was their biggest fan, even if he didn’t fully understand the rules of floor hockey or how to follow 5 year olds playing soccer.
What he did share with me is his love of music. He filled my childhood with music. For every occasion he had a song, and he would sing it, too. It didn’t matter where or when- he would just burst into song. Sometimes he would tell us something about the song- such as what movie it was from or who sang it. Sometimes my mom would just shush him. Frank Sinatra (or Francis Albert, as we knew him by) was his favorite singer of all times. (He still is.) I think it’s a requirement, being Italian and all. My father has been singing my entire life. He was in choirs, church shows…..he sang at my wedding reception. When my children performed, not matter what it was- a play or a concert- he sang along. Even if it was the band playing. Once again, my mom would shush him. I played the piano and I know that it’s from my father’s influence. My children all played more than one instrument. I attribute that to my father, too.
I have shared my love of music with my children. While my dad exposed us to music from all the great musicals over time, I “forced” my kids to actually watch the musicals. Kris and Andrew actually performed in musicals for years when they were younger. My dad was never prouder than when he was watching one of his grandchildren on the stage.
My dad has the corniest sense of humor. He tells the same jokes over and over again. That’s okay. It’s him. He speaks from the heart. ALWAYS. That translates to “he puts his foot in his mouth” A LOT! The great thing is that when it happens, if someone points it out to him, he is quick to apologize and get it right. He is genuine. He is sincere. And I know without any doubt that he loves my children more than anything. He is one of the few people that hardly missed a step upon finding out about Kris. It took him awhile to grasp it. I’m not even sure if he gets it to this day but when he sees Kris he treats him the same way he always did. And that means so much to me.
My hope is that someday when my kids are making their children watch some musical or listen to Frank Sinatra, they remember where that came from. And maybe share their own silly stories about their grandfather.