I was confused.
"Why is your mom home? Where's your dad?" I asked my friend. I was around 5. Maybe 6.
My friend replied, "Um, my dad is at work. Why is YOURS home?"
I would later learn that being a stay at home dad in the 80s and 90s wasn't exactly the norm. But to me, it was perfectly normal. My mother went to work for the Air Force. My Daddy took care of me.
Yesterday was my Dad's birthday. I am so glad we live nearby now so we can celebrate.
I had a wonderful childhood because of him. He didn't just take care of me. He played with me. He played with the neighborhood kids. I remember him chasing us with a water gun. He used to blow smoke bubbles because yes, he used to smoke. (He has since quit! I am so proud of him for that.) He was the cool dad on the block.
I love that my family life was unique. It helped me become who I am today.
Now my kids get to have fun with my Dad. He's their Papa.
Natalie once told me, "My Papa is so fun and cool!" and I smiled. He was my cool Dad. And now he's a cool Papa who lets his grandchildren do his hair.
Happy Birthday, Dad.