They say girls often find men like their fathers to marry. I have always found this idea sorta creepy though I can certainly understand the reasoning.
On the surface, most would assume my father and husband have few similarities. The more I watch Coach parent, the more I find in common. Because of what my family endures, with my brother's illness, I cope by trying my best to only remember the positives of my childhood. Not with rose-colored glasses by any means but with a concentrated focus on simple, happy moments of my family. I have never understood, adults whom dwell on the unhappy, rather than moving forward with pleasant memories.
When I think of my father... I remember very specific characteristics, which are absolutely similar to the man I gratefully choose, to parent my children.
* My Dad loved music. He would play records every morning, as we readied for school and work. Really great music. (Mostly 70's) How much better is a morning before school, when you can hear your dad humming? (Humming in a manly way.) He was fond of a little car steering wheel drumming. And he was one heck of a whistler, during any instrumental bridge. When the mood struck, he would slow dance with my mom or me, standing small on his shoes. He would quietly sing along and each moment seemed special.
* My Dad was athletic and VERY competitive. There was a long running streak, of never having seen my dad lose... at anything! He loved playing cards, basketball, tossing the football with friends, darts... anything. When his friends unfolded the ping-pong table, it got just a little bit intense. I'm unsure I have ever beat my dad. (He SURE AS HECK, would never let a 4 yr old girl win so much as a game of checkers. Teaching a child Winning was easy? Definitely not a lesson he endorsed.) I remember when my brother finally, grew able to win a few games of HORSE. It was significant. As a result, I'm comfortable being married to a man who enjoys an earned Win.
* My Dad is also a Fan. Nearly every Sunday of my life had a Bears game, in the background. He loves attending sporting events. And is still just as excited to make a White Sox game with friends, as he ever was. Most importantly... my Dad never missed his children play in any event. If he were not present to memorize each and every play, for a long and detailed playback with my brother... I can't imagine the catastrophic results of their post-game evening. And now... he is becoming a constant spectator at The Kid's games. (Though The Kid enjoys the post-game dissection, about as much as his mother did.)
* My Dad is simple. (in a good way!) He enjoys an evening sitting in the yard. He likes to notice the birds and comment on the nice weather. We spent many week-ends hanging at home. We passed each New Year's Eve, playing cards or board games. He enjoyed driving across the beauty of our vast country. And he loved a summer walk for an ice-cream cone.
* My Dad is a good friend. He developed a small circle of friends and remained loyal. While he may not appear as cheerfully friendly as Coach, he has always made a point to be kind to everyone. I remember walking the Campus where he worked and watching him address a Senior Professor with the same genuine interest and kindness as the custodian. He was a devoted son, a faithful husband and an attentive father (and Pop-pop). My Dad is generally: A Good Man.
And if that is what I married...
I guess that's not so bad.
Happy Birthday, to the first great man I loved.