The Patriarch

Sometimes, when I use a big and impressive word like “patriarch” it makes me feel really smart. And important. And like maybe someone will write about us one day, not just me. But since patriarch just means, basically, the male leader of a family I thought it was fitting for Father’s Day. Am I right? Or am I right? Answer: I’m right. Because I’m always right.

Our patriarch is Bill. Billy. Hodgky. Papa. Poopsi. Papi. He’s the one who will drop by our house after going to Costco with kids’ books and toys and fruit snacks and ice cream and tell the kids he just “found them on the side of the road!” and the kids will roar with laughter and snatch those treats out of this hands as fast as they can. He goes a day without seeing the kids and gets a little homesick for them. I might mention that we need top soil for a yard project and he might just happen to have a trailer full the next week.

I’m pretty sure our chickens can thank him for still being alive.

He comes to dance performances and school concerts and sports games and random dinners whenever he’s invited. He foots the bills for the most amazing family vacations and sometimes money just appears at my house if I really have my eye on something I really want.

He loves my mom something fierce and is 1/2 of the example of what marriage should look like.

He says things like “Congratulations,” when a scared teenage daughter tells him she’s pregnant. And doesn’t even make things awkward when, a month later, the boyfriend joins the whole family for a vacation. Dude.

I get lots of things from my mom. My stunning beauty for one. But from my dad? I get my sense of humor. That “sometimes inappropriate, almost always funny, make fun of, but always in good fun” sense of humor. He has taught me to never let someone make you feel like shit and to stand up to people who are assholes. Obviously, I get my language from my dad. And when sometimes if a business tells you you can’t breastfeed in public and you have your infant baby with you who is hungry and you know it’s illegal for them to say that to you, you call your dad and you know your dad will make some calls. And sometimes when someone is taking pictures of your baby girl and gets all up in your face and is horrible and rude and makes you cry and is just basically a jerk, your dad will hear about it and drop everything to go tell him what’s up. And sometimes he says things like, “Well do you want me to kick his ass?” and you say, “No,” because you know he’s serious. And you know that someday you won’t need your dad to do all that, you’ll be able to do it on your own. But for now, you’re just happy you have your dad to do that for you.

And even when the cancer gets him, he stays happy and funny and fun and involved and generous and, incredibly enough, still “finds things on the side of the road” for the kids.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad!


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