Today I got on the bus, just like I do most everyday. Three stops came and went, ferrying people to and from various lonely destinations. As we continued to ride along with everyone in their own private worlds, on their own separate padded chairs, the bus glided to a halt in front of one of the more heavily trafficked stops and a stream of people began to pour in. This is normal. What happened next wasn’t.
A middle aged man walked in smiling with his son following behind. When I say smile I don’t mean the polite kind, that you throw at a stranger when you first meet them. I mean the kind that makes the room seem a little less bright when it leaves. He paid for their ticket and began to walk back, and this is when I noticed that his nine year old son was wearing a massive pink tutu, and sequined red flats that looked like he had stolen them from the wicked witch. They began to talk to each other and laugh and joke, and the kid shared his love of dinosaurs and his father beamed sunshine from between his teeth.
Now to a person that lives in Portland Oregon, seeing a nine year old boy in a tutu and sparkly shoes is not that surprising. Most of the time that’s an average tuesday. But it really struck a chord with me, especially so on fathers day. This man woke up that morning. Probably had a cup of coffee, probably made some food to eat, and then saw his son walk out in this outfit, and instead of saying, ” You can’t wear that, those are girls clothes, men aren’t supposed to dress like that! ” he went ” Awesome! let’s go have fun. ” He had such a pure love for his child that he could care less what he was wearing, because it was so unimportant.
My father spent near fourteen years of his life watching me perform and compete in Irish dance, otherwise known as the manliest of manly sports. That last sentence was meant to be sarcastic. He was dragged to competition after competition, of what is arguably the most boring sport to not take part in. He watched his son wear way too much sequins, and shirts that could have blinded Stevie Wonder they were so brightly colored, and not once did I hear anything other than support and congratulations.
While this is only one small sampling of the greatness that is my father, I think it somewhat encapsulates the point I’m failing to make. I am not a father, but I can pretty safely say that being one is not easy. Sometime you yell at your dad for no apparent reason.Sometimes you say things you know should never be said. Sometimes you are an idiot and you have to have your dad fix it. Sometimes you want to wear a tutu in public. But at the end of the day A great dad, my dad, will always be there for me. Happy Fathers day.