There are many things that I love about my Dad – his sense of humor, his laugh, his golf tan, his relationship with my Mom, his passion for golf and a good glass of wine, his commitment to whatever it is my sister and I are doing at that moment. But perhaps the thing that has grown to be the most important to me is my Dad’s consistency.
My Dad is as consistent as the day is long. He’s a creature of habit and as loyal a person as you’ll ever meet. As a kid, consistency meant that I knew my boundaries from day one. I knew coming home at 12:05 AM was late because he consistently told us, “Nothing good happens after midnight.” And as an adult now, I think I appreciate his consistency even more. I love knowing that if I call after 10:00 AM on a weekday, he’ll be on the golf course but he’ll still answer his phone, and he will either say in a whisper, “I’ve got to call you back, Kitten, I’m on the golf course” or he’ll chat with me for a few minutes between holes and then frantically cut the conversation short because, “Gotta go – its my shot!” But he will always call me back as soon as he finishes his round. Because he is consistent.
I love that consistently, every 2 or 3 months, he needs a “Katie fix” and he’ll find some way to see me. Two summers ago Chris took a summer job out in Utah at a theater and so I was in New Haven by myself. Ever the faithful father, my Dad jumped in his car, drove two days to get here and stayed with me for a week. Every day I came home from work, he would be sitting on my back deck, with a glass of wine. And every night he would take me to some new restaurant and we would sample the menus, always concluding the night with a trip to his favorite ice cream shop. It was a consistent week in the middle of a crazy summer.
And my Dad is as consistent with his values as he is with his routine. He not only told me how important politics, a love of the country, and loyalty to your values are, he showed them to me – for 25 years now. He jokes often that my sister and I should, “Do as I say, not as I do,” followed by that great, big laugh. But in reality, there is no one else I could model my values after if I tried. He leads by example, and he is a consistent demonstrator.
In my life today, there are ever-changing factors. Will we buy? Will we move? Where will Chris work? When will we have kids? Will I change job? Should I cut my hair? Is the dog sick? Is the laundry done? How long will we live here? When will we grow up? Should we build a cedar fence or pine? But just when I get to the point where things seem to spin out of control, my Dad somehow knows when to pick up the phone and suddenly, life is calm again. His consistency is contagious and I love him for it and for bringing it into my life.
I guess in lots of ways, I’m like my Dad, because I consistently miss him.
Love you, Dad.