In all my talk about Mike and Father's Day, I neglected to mention someone else to which the holiday applies— MY DAD. Or Poppy, as he is now known. (That's Mazzy and Poppy above when she was about seven months old.)
All day, I have been trying to think of a way to sum Poppy up but there is no easy way to do it. So instead I will give you the top five things you need to know about my dad.
1. When I was little, I prefered my parents tell made-up bedtime stories rather than read to me. My father's stories would always follow the same structure, leading up to the exact same moral. The joy was trying to figure out from the beginning how he was going to get there. The moral?
YOU CAN FIND EVERYTHING YOU NEED AT WALDBAUM'S.
Bad but accurate example:
There once was an elephant who hated his house. He realized it was because the walls were an ugly shade of green. He painted the house blue but something still wasn't right. He needed to hang a photo of his mother. He had a photo but no frame. So he went to Waldbaum's, bought a frame, put the photo of his mother inside and hung it on the wall. Then the elephant liked his house. And the moral of this story is? You can find everything you need at Waldbaum's.
2. Every Saturday morning, while the rest of the world is sleeping, my father goes garage sale hopping to get first pick of the goods. If you ever stay over his house, you will most likely wake up to a large lawn ornament or a questionable piece of "art" you could have sworn wasn't there before you went to bed. (You can check out some of Poppy's acquistions in "Grandpa's Baby Deathtrap in the Hamptons"— a photo essay of how my father's love of sculpture almost killed my six month old.)
3. My father invented "The Leisure Suit". It's true.
4. When I was 13, my dad took me to Times Square to pluck playbills from the trash to use as table centerpieces at my Bat Mitzvah. The theme was Broadway- obviously. And my father was never one to reach too deeply into his pockets. This is probably also the reason my sister's Bat Mitzvah theme was cartoons. My dad knew that his artistically-inclined daughter could draw the decor. (Cut to me spending an entire summer in my basement drawing 6 ft. versions of Tweety Bird and Elmer Fudd on posterboard.)
5. My parents got divorced when I was ten and my dad moved into an apartment in New York City where my sister and I would spend every other weekend. He would also take us out to dinner every Wednesday and call us every night to say hello. As the years passed, we went through phases where we were more interested in hanging out with our friends or watching television than talking to him or seeing him. But my dad continued to visit and call anyway. Even if we wouldn't get on the phone or refused to leave the house because a very special episode of Blossom was on. I can imagine that a lot of dads would have given up at a certain point. But because my father was so consistent, he was still right there when we wanted him back in our lives again.
I don't say it nearly enough but I love my father dearly. Eccentricities and all.
The truth is, my dad and I are a lot alike. We have crazy ideas, we don't set limits on what we can accomplish, we come at problems from left field and we are both lucky to have married people who keep our hair-brained schemes in check. We have big hearts, creative souls and we take our dance compeition shows SERIOUSLY.
Although. I would never ever decorate my daughter's Bat Mitzvah using other people's garbage.
Unless that was the theme.
Now that would be an awesome Bat Mitzvah.