My dad was overseas in a combat zone when I was born. By the time he came home, I'm told I was a crying, colicky baby. Who enjoys crying colicky babies? So maybe we just got started on the wrong foot. There were also other issues that strained our father/daughter relationship during my childhood, and when my parents split, my dad moved practically half way around the world. Those were the days before tha interwebz and skype and e-mail... long distance communication was a lot harder then! I've only seen him in person two or three times since I was 10 years old, and the last time was over 20 years ago. So it was difficult to mend our fences, settle our differences and get to know each other.
We eventually buried the hatchet and presently have a friendly relationship, mostly via e-mail, but I still can't say that I know my dad REALLY well. I don't know what his favorite color is, or his favorite music, or his favorite meal, or what he'd do if he ever won a million bucks... all those little mundane things that close families know about each other.
But here's what I do know about him... he's got a genius-level IQ and photographic memory. He has perfect pitch, and can also play guitar really well. He's got a wicked sense of humor and a quick wit. That's not a bad gene pool for me to be swimming around in, and I'm fortunate to have inherited a little of his smarts and talent. I think the wavy curls in my hair came from him, too. Not sure about my stubbornness and fiery temper... there's a generous amount of those qualities on BOTH sides of my DNA!
I remember in second grade, he made a Kool-Aid cake for my birthday. And he used to bake cinnamon swirl bread sometimes (I still have the recipe). He made gorgeous stained glass terrariums in his spare time for a while. Once on a beach vacation, we kids had a blast when he'd toss us backwards into the waves.
So Dad, thanks for helping to make me the person I am today, even from afar. I hope you have a wonderful Father's Day!