June 11, 2003
Here is a writing exercise I did for Everyday Creative Writing: Panning for Gold in the Kitchen Sink, by Michael Smith and Suzanne Greenberg. The prompt was, “Dancing with Dad.” Anybody who knows me or my dad would realize what a stretch this theme is for me, but writing prompts are just that, prompts. I am free to go off on any tangent I feel like. That said, these few lines seemed like an appropriate Father’s Day tribute…
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I have never danced with my dad. Not once. Not ever. No childish swirling around the living room. If I should ever get married, there will be no “Butterfly Kisses” father-daughter waltz. He has never said he loves me.
He changes the oil in my car. He worries about my cats being left alone in hot weather. He fixes my bike and maintains my lawn mower. When I go to visit he drives me to town in his old junker with holes in the floorboard so I can ride in a “real” car. I bring him his favorite candy and he gives half of it back to me, piece by piece, before I leave.
But I have never danced with my dad, and I
never will. He has never said he loves me, and probably never will. Still…
I think he loves me.