Spend Another Day with Dad

The Savvy Dad is about how fathers impact our lives. Today is an exception. It’s about how we impact theirs.

The young graduate

The young graduate

It was 1966. I was a senior at Cincinnati Country Day High School. The family was proud. No one – not Chubby, my dad, not my mom, not my sister, not one of my grandparents or a parent of theirs had ever attended one day of college. I would be first.

This meant so much to my dad. It was an unfilled dream realized through me.

Chubby took me to look at each college choice. He was at my side every minute of the day and night. We shared a room in the dorms.

We ate pizza with students at night. He got to know them far better than me. We attended the new student recruiting talks and sat in on classes with dad asking more questions than anyone. Dad even took me to the college bookstore to preview the books. And at each school he insisted on meeting the dean.

I remember thinking, “Come on dad, give me some space. It’s time to let go.” But that thought stayed where it belonged, deep in my head.

Even though I didn’t know much, I always had heart and could sense what this meant to the father I loved. For nothing on earth would I ruin it for Dad.

When I was born, before Mom brought me home, Dad scrubbed and sterilized the room that would be mine. He sat up all night just watching me sleep. His hand was there when I fell. My victories probably brought more joy to him than to me.

Chubby was tough on me so many times. I thought it was unfair. But then, he was unbelievably loving and kind. Only when his life sadly left mine did I realize that no one was so firmly in my corner all of the time.

Now I look back with a happy, sad heart. What I would give to do that again. Hop in the Ford and take off with Dad. Staying together in dorms. Pizza at night. And my dad, sitting next to me in class, raising his hand with a question in math.

It’s not my place to say how you should treat your dad or mom, or that special person who stepped in with a fatherly hand; but, I will suggest this — if you still have a chance to hop in the Ford and do something with dad, do it real soon.

I would give all that I have to once more spend a day with my dad.

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