Tag: Father

A Different Sort of Father’s Day

“Any man can be a father.  It takes someone special to be a dad.”
– Anonymous

My Dad:

Taught me how to dance.

Taught me how to hunt and shoot.

Read to me throughout my childhood (starting with The Monster at the End of this Book and working up through The Hunchback of Notre Dame ).

Sent me letters and notes whenever he traveled all throughout my freshman year of university.  I got messages on hotel letterhead from the middle east and postcards from Germany.  I looked forward to those letters more than I did to buying new books!

Loves his family and has never, ever been hesitant to show it.

Dragged me up Saturday mornings to do chores.  I hated it.  I’m also planning on making my kids do the same because in retrospect, that’s when he taught me lessons about hard work and finishing jobs.

Unless physically out of the country, he was at every piano recital that I can remember.

Taught me how to drive.  He reduced me to terrified tears teaching me how to start a manual on a steep jungle road, but let me tell you, I can now drive anything!

Has answered every question I’ve ever asked and never brushed them off.

Is the best man I know.

When I was three or four, I gave my dad a little trinket and told him, “You’re the best dad I ever had!”  He must have chuckled a bit at that, but twenty years later he still has that trinket tucked away in the box with his father’s watch, cufflinks, and medals.  And he’s still the best dad I ever had.

Happy birthday, Dad.

My Love-to-Hate Affair With Mac & Cheese

“At least she’s eating better things than macaroni and cheese.”
– Heidi Klum

Translation of fragment: "Mac and Cheese is food fit for dogs. And Gauls. Go Rome!"

Throughout my life my mother has been in school, in some capacity or another.  When I was about three or four, she had to leave Dad and I for a few weeks to finish up something or other with one of her degrees (I misremember which.  Which isn’t me being a bad daughter, it’s her having one in Asian Studies, one in American History, and now another in Classical Studies from Cambridge because she decided to learn Greek and Latin.  In other words, my mother is exceptionally awesome).  Time has blurred the details a bit but as I recall, this was an absolute highlight of my short life because Dad and I subsisted on mainly pizza.

I didn’t realize this during the Great Pizza Blitz, but it turned out that my Dad hated cooking.  Really hated it.  He encouraged my Mum to go to school, continue her education throughout her life, and work if she wanted, but by golly the one thing he wanted was dinner to be on the table, because left up to him, dinner would come grudgingly from a frozen package.

So, a few years down the road when she decided to teach for a semester or two at a local university, I thought the Pizza Affair would be reborn.  I was sadly, terrifyingly mistaken.

This is NOT food.

Mac and Cheese.  From a box.  Every night.  Some days even for lunch.  Sometimes we varied it up with chunks of hotdog, but mostly not.  Again, I’m sure both time and horror have worked their magic on me and the vile orange sludge was not as prolific as I remember, but it sure seemed like it at the time.  When my mother’s teaching finished, I refused to eat another disgusting, processed bite, and I’ve never touched it since.  Once when shopping J. picked up a box for himself on days when I’d be at school late or he needed a lunch, I had to swallow escaping bile.

However, watching Food Network the other day, I saw a recipe for ‘Grown Up Mac And Cheese’ and thought suddenly to myself, “That doesn’t look so bad.”  It sounded pretentious enough that I could assure myself that it would be as un-Kraft-like as possible, but looked really easy to make.  So, on Sunday I girded my loins and made Mac and Cheese for the first time in years.

And you know what?  It was pretty darned tasty!

**I’ll still never make the packaged stuff again.  My children will not be subjected to this powdered cheese monstrosity, except to survive the Zombie Apocalypse.  And even then, I might choose death.