Pops

I’m writing this for my dad on Father’s Day, but it might be a while before he sees it. It’s the weekend, and he manages to confine his usage of the Internet (including checking his e-mail) mostly to working hours. Although the fact that he’s a M–F, 9–5 technology guy can be inconvenient from time to time, it’s nonetheless one of the many, many things I love and admire about him. (How many people do you know—and include yourself while making this calculation—who are capable of having a long, thoughtful conversation without a single smartphone distraction? My dad can: until recently he didn’t have a smartphone at all, and although he’s now technically in possession of my mom’s old device, he uses it only for placing calls.)

My father, or Pops, as I sometimes refer to him, is, in a word, great. He’s affectionate, supportive, and quirky. With his wicked sense of humour, he’s the chief inspiration for my family’s unofficial motto, “Anything for a Laugh,” which comes with some level of self-awareness and which we try to put into practice with a certain degree of restraint, believe it or not. He’s taught me many lessons: that there’s tremendous value in appreciating and studying literature and music, that it’s important to hold on to and understand your heritage, that you can make a meal for five from seven near-empty jars of condiments found in the door of the fridge (I still think of this delicacy as “door sauce”) and a package of noodles, that it’s OK to ask for help when you’re struggling.

It’s funny how it can take the specific days that someone—an employee at a greeting-card company, probably—decided should be dedicated to celebrating our parents and their role in our lives to get us really thinking about how much we value them. One of my long-term goals is to show my father and mother more frequently how much I care, via both words and actions.

So Pops, today I wish you a Happy Father’s Day. Tomorrow, I’ll listen to Bartók and make door sauce in your honour.

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