happy papo day

Papo used to prompt us with the words “My dad…” and my siblings and I would then extoll his various virtues. I even wrote a poem based on this concept back in Mrs. Davis’ sixth grade English class. It had something to do with him always making fajitas and homemade pizza.

I’d like to do it here, in honor of Father’s Day, and his birthday. He always gets screwed on the holiday front as we inevitably combine the two celebrations together, and if there were ever a father for whom Father’s Day had been created for, it would be him. Here is my stream of consciousness celebration of Papo.

My Dad…

… gave me dimples and curly hair
… read to me from D’aulaires Greek Myths
… sang civil rights anthems as bedtime lullabies
… has read more books than anyone I know
… has a bedroom in his house called the “St. Joan of Arc” room
… has had a mustache since his 20s; I have never seen him without it
… drove a VW Vanagon
… listens to reggae through his cable provider’s music channel
… is nicknamed both the Red Roofer and the Sissy Roofer
… almost always has tar on his elbows
… only shops for clothes at Value Village
… got my eyebrow pierced for my 16th birthday
… thinks I’m hilarious
… tells me that I am perfect, previously prodigal
… advises me to step back and watch my life as if it were a drama
… made my sister memorize poems by Rumi when she acted up; this was better than grounding her
… gives me worms as gifts, along with compost and coir
… raised three of his children, for many years, as a single parent
… knew I would marry my husband the day they met (which was our first date, P.S.)
… does not believe in invidious status comparisons; I knew this before I knew what invidious meant
… believes that my jump shot will always go in the basket
… held my hand when I was sick, hurt, sad, manic, hungover, kicking, screaming, angry at the world
… trusts in what he has taught me

God-willing, I can continue my celebration of Papo for the next thirty-five years. He has already planned his 100th birthday party. I can’t wait to attend.

Happy Birthday Dad! Happy Papo Day, too!


7 responses to “happy papo day

  1. That’s just beautiful May. You are blessed and know it, which makes it the best kind of blessed. Your Father is an upstanding pillar of our community, the world and most importantly, your family. Love.

  2. A BEAUTIFUL tribute to a remarkable man. I could not have chosen a better
    father-in-law for my son.

    Mama Okun

  3. My dad’s birthday is on June 16th, so it sometimes falls on Father’s Day, too! My little brother (who happens to live in Chicago now) invented the phrase “Happy Farthday” for those times when my dad’s birthday and Father’s Day coincided. 😉

  4. so sweet..

  5. p.s.

    is that you on Dad’s left? —I’d bet money on it!

  6. My Perfect Daughter Megan Previously Known as Prodigal

    But only for a nanosecond, when the family scene merited a checking out!
    What astonishing trials and adventures come and gone,
    And imagine, the best is yet to come!

    Life as Megan’s, Bridie’s, Joe’s, and Rachel’s Papo
    has made just about all of the books and movies flat and formulaic
    In contrast to the phantasmagorical cirque de soleil drama we’ve performed.

    Perfect Pap Father’s Day card from a perfect daughter!


  7. Good stuff, Megan!!

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