No offense ladies, but it’s true. Fathers, Dads, and Granddads do make the best memories. Why? Because they’re the adventurous ones. They’re the livin’-on-the-edge ones. Yep, they’re the ones who take us off on those epic trips into the unknown, the wilderness, and beyond. Moms actually care about the safety of their children. Sometimes…well…to be honest…Dads don’t.
I’m just kidding. Dads really do care. It’s just that they love to live in the extreme. They love and live to give their kids that pure rush of adrenaline. Don’t believe me? Well, I’ll prove it.
Who was the one who drove our push button Dodge station wagon from Rutledge to the very ends of the Earth (Key West) knowing a hurricane was brewing? Of course that would be Dad. And pulling a popup camper no less. Who was it that took his precious little boys hunting with shotguns at the tender age of eight? That was dear old Dad. And, what person took the children out for their very first off-shore party boat fishing excursion? That would have been our father of course.
It never entered his feeble mind that his family might end up in Davy Jones locker until he was moving that little camper to higher ground at two A.M. What was the worst that could happen when his little rednecks were wielding a loaded gun? And, did it matter to him at the time that his eldest son might turn green with seasickness? No! They might even be indoctrinated into the old man ways after watching some of the crew drinking Schlitz while throwing up simultaneously. Might do them some good. Grow up boys, run a little dirt on it, circle the wagons, suck it up buttercup, and plow straight ahead.
Now, what Mother or Grandmother would even think about putting their babies in harm’s way like that? None of them. At least the sane ones wouldn’t.
But that’s what makes those memories the best and so cool. Don’t you see? Old Dad was toughening us up. He was preparing us for things like political divide, the Covid-19 pandemic, and especially marriage. He was teaching his children to stretch their wings and broaden their parameters. He was giving us a glimpse of things we should never, ever do around our Mothers (or wives after we have children of our own).
You see, those memories are etched in my brain. There are so many more. I couldn’t begin to recount the snappin’ turtle basket catchin’, trot-line runnin’, ballgame playin’, vacation eatin’, mini-bike ridin’, no helmet bicycle racin’ frog giggin’, coat hanger hot dog burnin’, marshmallow open fire roastin’, pond drainin’, Zebco line-breakin’, rabbit huntin’, outdoor campin’, in-the-woods peein’, mosquito swattin’, mountain climbin’, ocean surfin’ multitude of good times we had. And who was always the main instigator of all this foolishness? Dad, of course.
I don’t know if my Father was a little tetched in the head, mentally unstable, or just plain off his rocker at times. I will say this. A large time was had by all, and I wouldn’t take anything for those memories.
After my Dad passed away last year, I promised I would never, ever put my children or grandchildren in the types of precarious situations he put us in. Nope, I’d make it worse! A whole lot worse! That’s how Dads make the best memories after all.
Tallyho troops. Who’s up for a knife-throwing contest? Bow and arrow practice anyone? Here, use this apple. William Tell would have been proud.
Thanks Dad for all the best memories a man could wish and hope for. Oh, and Happy Father’s Day to you and all the other fathers who have shown us the way…to memories and to heaven. I love and miss you and all our adventures.