My Dad was Quiet. Funny. Loving. Protective. Dutch. (That last one? Significant because he made the Best. Cocoa. Ever.). When I was a kid and would ask my Dad for something that even I knew was a ridiculous request, he would look at me over his glasses
and say, “I may be stupid, but I’m not crazy.”
Hans Deys never said too much but when he did, you could bet the farm it would be insightful, amusing, and loving. My father threw praise around like confetti but kept his criticism close to his chest. I heard him drop the F-bomb once in my life; the situation was worthy of it. He was a hugger, a helper, an engineer of bridges, thoughts, and ideas, and loved by everyone who met him.
My parents met when they were in their teens. They fell in love during WWII with bombs decimating their town, relatives lost in concentration camps, undercooked and unpeeled vegetables, Gestapo at the door. My Grandfather was a bit of a big deal in the Dutch resistance and our family helped Jewish families escape – hiding them behind false walls in the attic of their Arnhem home. Many hours were spent at our dinner table hearing the stories over and again. My Dad loved to tell them – never flinching when we said “we want to hear the one about the radio hidden in the stove again.”
No parent is perfect; no child sublime. We do what we can with what we know (and we know, as parents, that we don’t know everything … just don’t tell the kids!) I send out Mad Props to parents everywhere whether you are a Father, a Mother, or a combination of both and hope that, every day, you share your knowledge, history, and wonder with your children. I miss my Dad every day but his guiding hand is always on my shoulder.
“There are three stages of a man’s life: He believes in Santa Claus, he doesn’t believe in Santa Claus, he is Santa Claus.”
My Dad taught me sincerity, kindness, and compassion; from him I learned that a smile, a kind word, and a helping hand held out would take me places. His guidance has served me well.
Please share your stories with me: WWDD (What Would Dad Do) 🙂
Happy Fathers’ Day!