My dad has an Executive style personality. (I don't rememer what the official letters are, although I'm sure someone out there knows.) He is smart, loves learning new things, loves teaching. He can be disarmingly goofy. His head is full of knowledge: some that is useful, some that is fanciful. He is well-liked and knows how to keep a conversation going. He loves God and loves him some commentary--again with the useful knowledge thing. He's so confident he seems dauntless.
My dad has worked at an automotive-technology company since he was sprung from college twenty-some-odd years ago. Before that, he went to college at a parent-approved school and majored in Electrical Engineering. He wanted to be a musician, or maybe a computer programmer. His dad didn't agree with those career choices, so he picked something else. My dad was a good son.
He was the oldest of four children. He feels a great deal of responsibility.
My dad is an Eagle Scout. He is the epitome of an upstanding citizen.
When we were young, he took us on fun vacations, on camping trips. He played the guitar in the evenings. He'd hold up a sheet of paper when he kissed my mom so we couldn't see, and to be funny. He's always had a powerful personality and we loved that about him. Strike that; that's a weak thing to say. Let me try again. What I was trying to say: I love him.
When we were younger, he had a hard time being emotionally available to my brother and sister and me. We knew he loved us, but he didn't really say it. Knowing all that I know now, I can't blame him. His father was self-controlled, stoic, with a chest as hard as a rock. Not exactly embraceable and encouraging. How do you walk in those footsteps?
But then, shortly before my first child was born, my grandfather died. And the Inman clan got all crumbly and sort of short-circuited. The strong personality that had dominated for so long was at rest and nobody knew what to do with themselves.
Time passed, patterns shifted. I had three more children, and like the good mother and daughter that I strive to be, I did everything I could to bolster an affectionate relationship between the young ones and my dad. However, my firstborn is similar in personality to my dad, outgoing but a strong leader who doesn't take much time for cuddles. My next child, my precious daughter, is reserved and introverted. For the first 2 1/2 years of his life, my third child, Kellar the Koala, was uncertain about anyone other than me. He's just now starting to let down his guard. Finally I bore Dawson, a child who is outgoing, loving, funny, and unafraid. Finally I've been able to see my dad lovin' on one of my babies. I'm tellin' you, it just doesn't get much better than that.
I loved my grandfather very much, despite his lack of, er, cuddliness. But I didn't know him, I didn't even know if he loved me much. For all the remarkable things Grandpa Glen was, he was not an outstanding example of family love. I do miss him, but I am so proud of the father and grandfather that my dad is becoming as he learns to walk straight ahead, making footprints of his own.
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