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On Father's Day

June 20, 2016 - Jen Zbozny
Last year on Father's Day I was in Paris for the very first time in my life, due to an unexpected and extraordinary opportunity. I saved this piece for today, a day after Father's Day, so I could celebrate my Dad and good dads everywhere without doing any homework. Today however, I'll share this.

I wrote it to my Dad from Paris. It says a great deal about what I know of relationships between fathers and daughters. And if it isn't clear already, I adore my Dad and I'm lucky to have been the recipient of his patience, wisdom, love and laughter for the eons he's been gracious enough to bless me with them.

I hope you take the time to write your Dad a good letter every once in a while too. Enjoy

Dear Dad,

It's 2:37 in the morning for you but for me it is 6 hours later and I've woken to a beautiful morning in Paris. Paris is unexplainable, unexpected, charming, and far, far way from you. Yet, every time I turn a corner and spy a sundial, a street named after a mathematician (Bon Jour Descartes! ), or drag my companion to see Lavoisier's chemistry laboratory, or Pascal's adding machine, I find you.

How could I possibly have enjoyed Paris to such a rich degree without the extraordinary tools of wonder, knowledge, and curiosity you've given me? How indeed?.

I've walked, at a very brisk pace, for six to eight hours each day without flagging, including a day that began with walking to and climbing the steps of the Eiffel Tower. Seven hours later I was still on my feet happily walking and feeding my insatiable curiosity. It caused my friend to announce, "you are indefatigable, I think you would happily walk another 4 hours at least." I responded that my Dad showed me (at times under duress) that there are places in the world that you can only reach by walking on your own two feet and that their payoffs (lakes in glacier, mountain tops, and so many more) reward like none other. And all I had to do was walk.

I imagine walking is yet another thing you taught me as a baby - because you were there, close by, holding my hand, encouraging, teaching, having fun. Loving me in a way that still nourishes and protects me to this day. And all I had to do was walk, and be your daughter.

I thought of those things while in awe in the medieval Cluny museum. Its a gem of a museum. It has the lady with the unicorn tapestries. It's built on what was once Roman baths. It stopped my breath with awe and wonder. It made me shed a tiny tear to have been given the gift to understand your medievals, (Dad, dear readers, is a Middle-English scholar from way back) my Romans (I, dear readers, studied the Romans and Greeks in college), and so much more. It made me, though very far way, feel very close to you.

How could I have enjoyed Paris without the love you surrounded me with my whole life? How could I have learned anything? How indeed?

Somewhere today I raise a glass to you.

Much love on Father's Day and always,

Me

 
 

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photo by Jen Zbozny