“Happy Father’s Day to the Big Enchilada,” the card read in a playful font.
I laughed out loud when I saw the accompanying picture of — you guessed it — an enchilada, complete with glued-on wiggly eyes.
After what seemed like an impossible search for the perfect card, I found one that would at least make my father laugh — or groan.
My dad, Bruce, is a quiet man. When he walks through the hallways of our home in Hoover, Ala., he miraculously does it without making the floors creak. All the women of the house — my mother, sister and I — pound the floorboards like 500-pound gorillas.
Dad is mostly patient and kind-hearted, meticulous, ethical to his core, a little bit quirky and an all-around wonderful man. He’s not perfect, but he’s someone to be admired, at least in my book.
Although he worked seemingly endless hours while I was growing up, he always carved out time to help coach my softball team and to spend time with us.
I remember fondly our times fishing together. Dad would pack up fishing rods and gear and take my sister, Liz, and me to a local state park for some adventure.
On one side of the dam awaited his dream catch. On the other side, where a shallow pool of water boasted a plethora of minnows and small fish, we could see swimming around, awaited ours.
And my sweet dad, more often than not, would lead us beside the still waters, bait our hooks and let us work feverishly to catch the ever-evasive fish that taunted our eyes. He hardly got to fish himself, because we kept requesting his assistance for minor tasks we either could not do or didn’t want to do ourselves.
As I was thinking about Father’s Day this week, fishing with my dad seemed, in many ways, to be an appropriate example of parenting and fatherhood.
On his part, the task required an extra dose of patience, a willingness to be inconvenienced and a sacrifice of time and his own desires.
My dad — and mother, both — have given up a lot for me over the years to help mold me into the woman I am today. Dad has taught me valuable life-lessons that are both practical, like driving, and intangible, like ethics and morals.
To you, Dad, I am forever grateful for your presence and your influence in my life.
And although I will always profess my own dad to be the best, I know there are many of you out there who would argue otherwise. Having seen so many dads in action here in East County, I recognize the competition for best-dad-ever is fierce, especially in our community.
So, to all of you fathers, surrogate dads, and dads-to-be out there, Happy Father’s Day from our Observer family to you and yours!
Contact Pam Eubanks at [email protected].