“Thank you”.

The transformation first manifested itself in the 2/0 gauge  eyebrows that grow like weeds. Most of the follicular resources must be deployed there, since the top of the dome is rather vacant.

Now my growing penchant for alarming wardrobe selections must have led some to wonder if that vacancy on the top is beginning to work its way inside.

I remain as stoically German as the old man ever was.  And though I do not have “hi fi ears”, I still prefer my music played at “11”.  A trait ingrained during the weekly War of 1812  that played out on our Zenith when I was growing up on Franklin Street.

“Shekel” and “shekel factory” have  found their way into my daily vocabulary.  And as I only drink my coffee black, I cannot say I will ever request a “titch” of cream from a red-faced waitress.

I do have to say, my dad jokes are about on par with the old man’s.

Well, almost.

I will eat a tomato off the vine as I survey the yard, but rhubarb – no way Jose.  Bait a hook while  eating a sandwich? No problemo. And like Dad, expiration dates mean nothing to me.  I choose to abide by the  5 minute rule once a morsel hits the floor.

My new-found passion for growing grass, ferns,  flowers and pulling weeds just might be the farmer from Wauconda speaking to me from his field of dreams.  But I have yet to mow the lawn in dress pants, shoes and shirt.

We sons are meant to be reflections of our dads,  despite our efforts to be something otherwise.  I know, it may seem a curse for you young pups out there.

But trust me.  In time, when you get to be my vintage, you will begin to see all that as a blessing. “Cause whether we recognize it or not, we  tend to get what was the best in him.

I know I am a little early in this proclamation.

So when that day rolls around, and  he is still of this world, all Dad needs is your presence,  a big squeeze and a smoochie.   The cherry on top?

Look him in the eye and say:

“Thank you”.

For those of you – like me – whose dad is “up there”; fear not.  He hasn’t ever really left you.  Perhaps in body, but not in spirit.  He is still right here.

And always will be.

Just one bad dad joke away.

Your Dad’s words, quirks, works and parenting will forever remain with you.  You need only look a little harder, listen a little longer and learn to recognize his fatherly advice however it may make its presence known.

I am a week early, but here’s to you “Doc”.

“Happy Father’s Day.”

The squeeze and smoochie will have to wait until we are together again.

Up there.

But I did want to say:

“Thank you”.

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