Ahh — Father’s Day – it truly is one of my favorite F-Words.
But, I know for some people this “holiday” can bring up all sorts of thoughts and big-time emotions.
Maybe your dad peaced out when you were little, maybe you never even knew your dad, maybe our dad is lookin’ down from the sky today – whatever your experience with dad and Father’s Day – know you’re not alone.
I know for myself, Mother’s Day does that for me.
When my mama beamed up to the sky when I was 24-years-old, there hasn’t been a Mother’s Day that I don’t think, “Damn, I wonder what we’d be doing today.”
Feel what you gotta feel, get it out and then if you’re up for it – enjoy the hell out of this day!
Thankfully, what I lacked in the Mom World, God decided to abundantly over-compensate me with some rockin’ men that have shaped my life: my Pops, The Vic, my Brother, Mike and my Hubs, Joshua.
Today, I want to celebrate them and let you know why I love the hell out of these dudes so much.
A Love Letter to My Three Favorite Men
The Vic (my Pops) —
When I spew to my Hubs, “My dad is one of my favorite people.”
The Hubs likes to remind me, “He’s your #1 favorite person, you don’t have to fool me.”
And he’s abso-flipping-lutely correct.
(3) Big Bopper Reasons Why I Love the Shit Out of The Vic:
- Unconditional Love
My dad has always been more of a friend than a typical “father” in my world. He’s not big on discipline (heck, when you have a kid in your 50’s – do you even have any f*cks to give?), but he is big on love – unconditional love.
I knew if I ever went way off the rails in life my dad would be like, “It’s cool, Kel, I still love you.”
I pray I can give that to my daughter and not be so bloody uptight about certain things. God give me unconditional love.
I’ll never forget…I was in middle school and all I wanted to do was fit in with the “rich” girls that wore new Doc Martens and had endless shopping sprees.
One day as I complained about wanting this new thing and that new thing, The Vic had enough and went full-on Italian Malocchio (“evil eye” on me and while his hands were flying he told me, “Kel! Stop trying to keep up with the Joneses. Be YOU. Be Keli! Only answer to yourself and that’s all that matters!”
(I had to use a lot of exclamation points there because, damn, dad was steaming and I rarely see him like that, so I knew he was legit fired up for a reason).
He was right. And from that moment on, I learned to care less and less about fitting in with others and more and more about fitting in with myself.
To this day, I’ve never met someone who matches my dad’s wit and easy humor. The guy knows how to work a room and he’s never met a stranger.
The Vic has taught me to not take myself so seriously and that has always given me strength when I get into a tizzy about life.
My Brother, Mike —
I always say I have my two dads (wasn’t that a show in the 90’s?), My dad, The Vic and my 18-year-older than me, Brother Mike.
(3) Great White Whale Reasons Why I Dig My Bro Hardcore:
- Wicked Smart
This guy. He’s a businessman. A Registered Nurse. And more than that, he’s got that street cred.
I’ll never forget when he told me the three things you need when doing business: brains, bucks, and balls.
Quips like that and “power talks” (as he called them) were how he guided me best. And how eventually I grew more balls than brains (but, hey, I’m still working on that balance thing)!
- Assertive Trainer
In high school, I could be shy and timid and didn’t know how to set boundaries well.
Right there in his garage, I’ll never forget practicing dialog with him on how to be more assertive (not aggressive, as that’s how I was seeing it).
His way of teaching me about being assertive and setting healthy boundaries in life has saved me loads of headaches (not to mention, crappy people getting the boot from my life).
- He’s Obsessed w/ Your Success
He loves supporting education and will relentlessly do whatever it takes for you to succeed.
When I decided I wasn’t going to college right after high school, The Brother gently nudged me to try one semester.
I did and even though school didn’t stick with me then, I’m glad I had a guiding force that said, “At least try and then make your decision from there.”
My dad being the uber gentle, soft place to land in my life — my Brother was the guardrails that kept me in my lane of life. Lightly tapping me back in when I went off my own path.
The Hubs —
When I met my husband, neither of us believed in marriage or kids. We were scared to death of those ideas and wanted nothing to do with them.
Because life has a wicked sense of humor – we were married eight months after our first date and almost a year after that, we welcomed our baby girl into the world.
Often we both look at each other (especially around the time of our anniversary) and say, “Damn, I can’t believe we’re still doing this.”
We smile and we laugh because for two people who were so anti-marriage and kids, we can’t imagine our lives any other way…now.
(3) Trumpet-Blowing Reasons Why the Hubs Rocks My World:
- The Next Tesla
I’ve never met a man with more eloquent intelligence (that sounds pompous doesn’t it?) He’s never boastful and yet I can see steam coming out of his ears sometimes when his gears are turning.
It also helps when I hear a science-y word whilst watching X-Files and look at The Hubs and say, “WTF is Ununpentium?” and he rattles off all things Ununpentium.
- His Own Kind of Feminist
He took my last name when we married. And no, I did not trick him into that decision.
I told him I was going to keep my last name (and would think about hyphenating it with his, if he really wanted me to).
Since we were thinking about having a kid in the future he wasn’t having that hyphenated business.
He said he would take my last name and so would our future child.
That was that and not once have I ever seen him wince when someone asks why he took my last name.
- He Knows How to Handle My Crazy Ass
Yo, I can be crazy as all hell. I mean, I upped and moved our family to Santa Barbara, California on a wing and a prayer, literally.
The thing about my Hubs is he knows when to put the foot down with me and when to just let me “spin out” as he puts it.
Because I get in this Tasmanian Devil-style tizzy sometimes, he let’s me just get all sorts of Keli-crazy.
And then, when I’m ready to stop going around in my own damn circle, he’s there. Steady as can be.
God Bless you, My Love — we all need that grounding force.
Whatever figure you’ve had in your life that helps guide you and shows you the best parts of who you are – thank them today – man or woman…because it takes a village to raise a child, y’all.
A massive T-Rex size village.
Love + Loving the Men in my Life,