I really hit the jackpot when it comes to dads. The Swede is an amazing father. Pappa. I thought that in honor of Father's Day recently, I'd share a favorite memory.
I think I was eleven or twelve when The Swede took me on a date. I think it was for a good report card, or maybe just to reconnect because he traveled a lot in those days. No matter, we got dressed up and I had him all to myself.
I have an almost photographic memory, so I can see the dress I wore. I even suffered stockings, because they made me feel glamorous and grown-up though the slightly-wobbly-walking in the highest heels I'd ever worn probably lost me some points on that scale. Wearing a suit, he took my hand as he led me down the stairs to Trader Vic's, a tiki-hut tropical themed place that my parents often went to on date nights. Being at “their” restaurant made it even more special.
Holding umbrella drinks in hollowed out coconuts, we talked. He listened to my latest gymnastics achievements, and to my angst about the latest school hurts. It wasn't easy being a band, word, and math nerd all at the same time and not get a lot of teasing. He's an excellent listener, and doesn't try to immediately “fix it.” He's still like that, which is so welcome, since I have someone else in that role...
The Swede talked, too. At this time, he spent his days traveling between Volvo dealers in his territory, and I had most of them memorized. I knew who was a nice guy, easy to work with, and who wasn't. He always had good stories from his travels, and anecdotes about his colleagues, with whom he commiserated about the frustrations about the job. I think he was on the service side of the equation at this point, and there were always customers trying to get Volvo to pay for something on warranty which clearly was NOT. He trusted me with “inside information” and that made me feel special, and grown-up, too.
I have no idea what we ate, but we did have to hurry up to pay the bill because we were also going to the movies! We saw my first R-rated movie, Brubaker with Robert Redford. My parents had argued about if I was old enough to see it, and The Swede won with a line like, “Don't you trust me to protect my daughter?”
I don't remember much about the movie, except it was in a prison and it was about some sort of reform or revolt. That didn't matter at all. I had my Daddy to myself for a wonderful evening, and even now at the ripe ole' age of 47, I remember most of it. The most important part of course was that he made me feel special, and grown-up, and no one interrupted us for his attention. I still like that. Dad, want to go to lunch?
Do you have a special memory of your dad? Do you have any special traditions for celebrating Father's Day? If you're a dad, have you ever taken your daughter on a date?