A Story About My Dad

  1. My Dad was never the guy that really wanted to be somebody's Dad
  2. He doesn't have patience for other people's kids, and he had a complex relationship with his own father. Deep down he worried that he wouldn't be good at it.
  3. But he loved my mom. He always says that she was (and is) the best person he ever met. She wanted a family, she wanted kids.
  4. I guess he figured he would love her kids.
  5. So a struggling actor in London, that once worked as a double for Jan-Michael Vincent, became my Dad.
  6. And he was right, he did love me. More than he thought a person could love.
  7. He was also very afraid.
  8. What if he messed up? What if I didn't like him? What if he made me sad? What if he couldn't protect me?
  9. He focused on learning what I liked (as much as a baby is capable of liking specific things) he was intent on learning my personality. One thing that I liked was frogs. Yep, frogs.
  10. So when I got sick that winter, and my mom sent him out to get me a hot water bottle, and he remembered one that he had seen in a catalog that came in a frog suit, he knew what he had to do.
  11. He was going to find me that damn frog hot water bottle if it killed him. He enlisted the help of my grandmother (who lived nearby) and the two of them set out in the cold.
  12. It did not go well. This water bottle was impossible to find. Did it exist? Had he dreamt it? They went to store after store after store, my dad grew increasingly frustrated.
  13. My nana couldn't understand why it had to be this particular hot water bottle, when there were so many other perfectly good ones out there. And it was cold. And it was late. And I was sick. For chrissake Paul, she said, standing in probably a fluorescent lit aisle of Boots. She won't know the difference!
  14. She will. He said. She will, he cried.
  15. As you may have guessed, this night was not about a hot water bottle dressed as a frog.
  16. This night was about my Dad learning that he was going to be a fucking amazing Dad.
  17. That I was going to be sick, sad, embarrassed, afraid and hurt many many times in my life. He would not be able to stop this from happening. I would not know any of this was coming.
  18. But here's what I would always know: that there was someone in the world who would do anything to make me happy.
  19. Someone who would always hold me when I cried. Who would teach me never to judge anyone, always to forgive, always to stand up for myself. Who would teach me about old movies and music, and encourage me to disagree with him. Who would give me an honest answer. Who would never think anyone was good enough for me.
  20. Who would run around for hours in the snow and slush looking for something that I specifically kind of liked, to make me smile, however briefly.
  21. I don't think they ever found the frog.
  22. But it makes me smile now.
  23. Edit: They did find the frog.