Today is Father’s Day. I really love my dad, and I hope you love yours too. My dad’s name was Dad for about twenty-one years, until he declared that he shall be called Buffalo. And then my sister blessed him with a grandson, and from that day on, he has answered only to Gruffalo. You know, like a Grandfather Buffalo combination.
My dad is Polish, and hence my sister and I were raised as Polish princesses who received Polish braids in our hair every night. He was the chef of the house, and pizza and pierogies were our family favorites. My dad and I can eat a half gallon of ice cream in one sitting, along with a box of wheat thins and a block of mozzarella cheese. It’s just what we do, you know? When I was little, my dad grew prickly cucumbers in our backyard, and so I decided I would be a vegetarian for the most recent twenty years of my life. My dad has a Lone Ranger lunchbox and likes old western movies. He also likes the news and the Pittsburgh Steelers. His patience is maybe one-hundred miles long. It has to be when you are married to the Queen of Quite A Lot, have two Polish Princesses for daughters, and teach math to snot faced little 6th graders for the greater portion of your life. My dad thinks all cats are girls and all dogs are boys, but sometimes he messes up and says that all girls are cats and all boys are dogs. He makes me laugh and has lots of stories from his childhood. He can fix anything in the world, and he can also add a second story to your home. My dad is as handy as a handyman gets, it is true. His favorite store is the grocery store – especially Fresh Market. He loves a good deal, but loves good food even more. Last week, my dad shot a copperhead snake from his back porch, and one time he wrestled my sister’s high school boyfriend in our living room. My dad has always had a moustache, and when he shaved it off for the first time, my sister cried because she thought he was a stranger. My mom thinks he is really handsome, and I do too. He likes trucks, tools, kielbasa, and a good loaf of French bread. I think he should write a book one day, because I know that he secretly has lots to say. He tells me that I have a big head and I believe him, because he has one too. We love each other enough to be honest about those sorts of things. My dad likes to listen to Michael Buble, and I think that is pretty rad. If you drive the six hours to visit him, you better believe that there will be a homemade pizza waiting for you when you pull into the driveway. That’s just how wonderful he is. He used to have a toaster in his classroom, and he would bring in loaves of bread and butter to make sure that his students were able to eat breakfast. My dad likes his coffee with cream on the bottom (not stirred up) because it is a sweet surprise when he gets to the end. When I was in college, he would sometimes send me five dollars and a silly little note. I think he thinks I am a little crazy, but I also think he loves me because of it. I certainly love him. Happy Father’s Day, Gruffalo!