Dad’s Dadisms

My Dad’s Dadisms …Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

It’s hard for me to believe it’s been a year since my dad was killed in an airplane accident. I will never get over losing him. My family and I are continuing to heal slowly. It is the hardest thing I’ve ever been through, and I was totally unprepared for how the grief would knock me on my rear.

Happy, funny memories like the ones that inspired this Gina’s Favorites post about him help me a lot with that process.

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Smile along with me.

Top 10 Dadisms

My dad was a pretty amazing guy.  In fact, the older I get, the smarter he gets!

He truly had this whole dad-thing down. You couldn’t find a better example. If you’re wondering what you need to be a real dad for the long haul, let these dadisms from my dad help you out:

#10.  You’ll need to develop a unique linguistic style. My dad had his own language. He was the only person I’ve known who used phrases like “Dab gum it!” or “Don’t be a panty waist!” (I’m still not sure what that means exactly, but I always took it to mean “Quit your whining and move your arse”).

#9.  You’ll need to be consistent. Every April 1st my dad went out to check my mom’s car’s tires, because every April 1st my mom told him, as an April Fool’s joke, that her car had a flat. Even though he usually remembered it’s April 1st long before he got to her car, he still checked on it. Just to be sure. Then, he’d go back in the house and play a joke on my mom.

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#8.  You’ll need to develop quality control systems. My dad reloaded the dishwasher after I loaded it. Every time. Even at my house. Of course, I did the same thing to him. Apple. Tree. All that.

#7.  You’ll need to find your center. My dad was the most even-keeled guy I’ve known. I once saw him get his finger caught in an electric auger and barely raise his voice. I screamed at my kids for letting the dog eat the Parmesan cheese last night (in my defense, the dog had run all over our house shaking the container as he went, thoroughly garnishing our home with a fine cheese coating. Nothing like a well garnished home to produce a “scream at someone” kind of moment).

#6.  You’ll need duct tape and a tool belt. My dad could fix anything. Anything. If he didn’t have the needed tool he’d get it. If they didn’t make the tool, he’d make it himself. I never heard my dad say “I can’t fix that.” He looked at stuff differently, through Dad-vision glasses. I might’ve see a former seating device, he saw a perfectly good chair that just needed 2 legs, an arm, a back, and a seat.

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#5.  You’ll need a rod and reel. My dad was an amazing fisherman. If there was a fish in the lake, he’d bring it home for dinner. I’m a pretty amazing fisherperson myself. If there’s wild caught salmon at Costco, I’ll wrassle a package into my cart every time.

#4.  You’ll need to speak “auto” and carry a big wrench. My dad was The Car-Whisperer. He rebuilt engines himself, left out a couple pieces, and still made them hum like new. I, on the other hand, am The Car-Killer. I’ve had cars burst into flames just because I thought about being on time to a meeting.

#3.  You’ll need to be a nutritionist. My dad always made sure people got just what they needed to eat. When my eldest child was only a few months old, my dad knew he needed some ice cream, and made sure he got some. I admit I wasn’t completely supportive of the idea at the time, but the fact that he chose Rocky Road to feed my little toothless wonder might have impacted my opinion.

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#2.  You’ll need to be a chef of haute cuisine. When I was a child and my dad would cook a meal, he always cooked everything in one pan. When we’d ask why he didn’t use separate pans for different foods, he’d reply, “Why? It’s all going to the same place.” Often, when I survey the mountain of pots and pans I’ve dirtied making dinner, I see the wisdom in my dad’s method.

#1.  You’ll need to realize that your kids will always be your kids. My dad still dad’ed me, until the very last time I saw him, even though I have kids of my own. He made sure I had a coat on when it was cold. He reminded me to drive safely. He told me I needed to eat more protein. In other words, he loved me.

Take a page from my dad, and you’ll be amazing.

And, no, you don’t have a flat tire.  Probably.

Well, you better go check.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

What do you see in the dads in your life?  What dadisms should I add to my list?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission
Lori Duff

You have a gift, Gina, of being funny and heartbreaking at the same time. I hear my Dad’s voice saying these two things all the time: “This, too, shall pass” and “To what end?” He taught me to question why I do what I do, and not to take any temporary problem too seriously.