Fathers Day Retrospective

He took me on rounds and into surgeries, let me assist with minor procedures; asked what real estate agent I thought would represent us best; talked to me about my future–about the contribution I would make to the world; discussed history and current events; argued points of view; asked me to quiz him on his studies; insisted I hold my stomach in and smile and not be fat or too pale, cautioned me about displaying my intelligence which was “fortunately offset by being petite,” told me that my main role would be to look good for my husband and keep our home and tend my children, said that I was “different,” because I wasn’t very much interested in all of that; demanded I make him mashpotatoes–from scratch–because my mother had the audacity to go out; said to her that I could be a “10” if I had straight hair; swiped me across the face three times knocking me to the ground, said that one of us would be moving out soon, “And it ain’t going to be me,” (though it was); insisted I come to his condo to do his laundry, told me that I was an awful daughter because I didn’t help him enough after the divorce; said that he could never have done what I did which was to stand up and speak at his father’s funeral; told me that my marriage was dull because we didn’t curse at each other, said that my husband wasn’t macho because he didn’t follow sports; shared astonishment that our adolescent sons thanked us for how we parented them; hit me across the head the last time we saw each other to say hello(?), told me that it wasn’t appropriate to massage his surgery-weary neck in public, laughed at himself, and amended: “Okay, go ahead,” offered with uncharacteristic surrender once again: “You have magic hands;” and long, long ago, disembarked from the ferry, meaning he’d have to pay the return fare because on the dock below, he saw a little girl named Kelly jump up and down, hollering:

“That’s my daddy! That’s my daddy!”

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