My daddy. The other day we were talking. He told me he is proud of me. I have a lot of great memories from my childhood of my dad.
When I was four (1974) he built my sister and I this awesome snow fort. We had a huge snowstorm and the drifts were over my head. He dug out part of a drift and inside made benches and a table which he covered with a piece of cardboard from a box. Mom brought us hot chocolate to drink while we sat in the fort. It felt like we were in an igloo at the North Pole. My dad was the coolest.
I remember when I was probably around 7 he planted this big garden in our back yard. He was very proud of it. We all worked hard on it. He was devestated when one day he went out to the garden and every plant had been pulled up and layed there wilting in the sun. A jealous neighbor boy had done it (we found out later)…but I can still remember the look on his face.
I remember him leaving to go hunting on my birthday…I asked for a deer for my birthday. (I didn’t even really want to have a deer…but it seemed like the thing to do since my birthday is the same day as the opening for deer season in Michigan).
When I was 9 we moved to a house that had a lot of trees and a huge yard. I remember spending hours raking all the leaves in our yard. Then dad would let us jump in them and throw them up in the air over our heads. It was a blast. He played in the leaves with us.
I remember one time when my dad found a 12 pack of beer in the trees behind the parking lot behind our church. He brought it over and we went out behind the barn and emptied every one of them out. I can remember how gross the warm beer smelled and I promised never to drink beer.
I remember talks about friends and boys on our monthly trips to the orthodontist. We had to travel at least an hour to get there. Sometimes we would eat breakfast at Burger King. Those trips were our special times together and even though I was growing up, I still liked being with my dad.
…so a lot of time has passed since then. Now we talk about raising kids. He sometimes asks what I think about specific situations relating to how they raised us. He asks us for ideas about raising kids (because he teaches parenting classes at his church). It’s really different now and a lot of times we all laugh about things that happened and how he and my mom handled things. I learned from some of those things though.
My dad taught me a lot…but one thing I admire the most about dad is his incredible patience. There were times when we were growing up that any other man would have walked out…but he stuck to it, he made things work, he loved my mom, he loved all of us. His love for our family was much stronger than any problem that we ever encountered. It seemed like nothing ever bothered him (though I know it did). He was (and still is) a very strong person and I hope I can be patient and have the perserverance and integrity that is still evident in his life. Thanks dad for being a great role model for me…so many people I know never had the opportunity to experience a father like you and I am so grateful to have you.
I drew this picture in my journal from a photo that my mom took and titled “The Sleepy Husteds”. It was taken toward the end of November 1974 when I was around 2 weeks old.