A Daddy’s Shoulder

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal

Is there any safer place to be than with your head on your daddy’s shoulder? This is my oldest son with one of his twin boys. With five kids he gets plenty of practice being dad. My other son has four kids so he’s a busy dad too. Both are hands on dads who can do whatever needs doing for their kids. It is without a doubt a blessing to be surrounded by good dads in my family.
My dad was a farmer, the son of a farmer and the grandson of two farmers. I don’t know back before that, but I’m guessing the great grandfathers worked the land too. Dad didn’t much like going to school. Only went to high school one day, but loved solving problems and sometimes worked algebra problems for fun. He liked competitive card games and horseshoe pitching and clay court croquet. He wasn’t all that excited when I named my son after him because he’d never liked his name all that much and always went by his initials or his second name. But he loved his grandkids. He taught them to say what six times seven was when they were four. He liked to do math in his head and didn’t care if he had a calculator once they came out on the market. He fought the onslaught of thistles and cedars in his fields with a hoe and an axe. Won some battles, but lost the war. He started driving when he was about ten years old. Nobody had to get a license back then. He rode a motorcycle across the country to Oregon to spend the summer with some cousins there when he was twenty-one. He was the only son of his father and he mourned that his branch of our family name wasn’t going to die out since he had three daughters. I was the last daughter and supposed to be the son, but he loved me anyway.
I wish now I had asked him more about his trip out west, more about everything that he did in the years before he was my dad, but we don’t realize when we’re young how we’re going to miss knowing those stories someday. How about your dads? Did they ever tell you about how things were when they were kids? I hope they’re still here to tell you stories.