I had the nicest surprise last night, I received an email from my daughter Lauren with a link in it. On opening it, I saw a lovely photo of the two of us in DC where she now lives; the photo was shot by my talented wife Lynn. Well, then I read the text with the photo and was overwhelmed with emotion. It was the nicest thing about me that she wrote for a blog about Father’s Day.
It is a very special thing to find out the effect you have had on your child. I guess it would be safe to say I really had no idea she felt this way.
Wishing all my fellow Dads a happy Father’s Day, here is the article, reposted from Propper Topper’s wonders never cease.
“If I had to describe my dad in only a few words, I would say he is worldly, goofy, and passionate.”
Just HOW worldly, we wonder?
As a professional photographer for over 30 years (and still going strong!), he has had a chance to travel or live in over 25 countries. As a result, I grew up in a household full of culture. He (yes, my dad is the main cook in my family!) would only cook different ethnic foods for dinner EVERY night. It got to the point where I would beg my mother to take me to the “plain restaurant” as I called it, a cafeteria down the street which served mashed potatoes, green beans, macaroni and cheese, and chicken—all the “normal” dinner foods that I knew my friends were eating with their families. Looking back on this now, I am so grateful that I was introduced to ethnic cuisine at an early age. Now, when I am going out to dinner, I almost always pick to go to an Indian, Thai, or Greek restaurant, and when I do get to go home to North Carolina I make sure to ask my dad to prepare me a Mediterranean style meal (my favorite in his repertoire!!). I can definitely say that I owe my appreciation of different cultures and love of travel to him and when I have children of my own I hope to be able to spread this appreciation on to them.
And the goofy part?
My dad is quite the jokester. He would make jokes with random strangers in stores, waitresses at restaurants, and anyone who would listen. Talk about trying to mortify your 13 year old daughter—I swear I thought it was his mission in life to embarrass me at all times; he definitely got a kick out of my over dramatic reactions to his shenanigans. Of course I now understand that it was all in good fun and he was not out to destroy my teenage years, and I am even grateful for the sense of humor I have picked up from him.
What about passion?
When my dad gets interested in something or starts a project, he goes all in. I would say that this is one of his most admirable traits. He became interested in photography when he was 5 years old, and he has never looked back. This is what he studied in college, and he now owns a very successful photography and videography business (Mark Wagoner Productions). I always point out his work to my friends when we are in public because it makes me so proud! I mean, when you drive on the highway and see a billboard with a photograph your dad took or when you are in Barnes and Noble and see books his photographs are in, it feels pretty cool! His passion is not just in his work though, it shows through in everything he does.
What is a gift possibility, this year? (Mr. Wagoner: CLOSE YOUR EYES!)
I have been waiting for an excuse to buy my dad Strange Maps by Frank Jacobs because I think it will appeal to both his goofy and worldly sides. I think Father’s Day will be the perfect excuse!
What would you do with your father on June 19, if you had the whole day to spend with him?
I’m lucky that this year I actually will be with my dad on Father’s Day. We haven’t determined whether he is coming up to DC or if I am going down to North Carolina, but for the first time in several years we will be in the same place! If we are in DC, we will probably go to a nice brunch and then go to a museum of his choosing. If I go down to visit him, I will definitely be cooking breakfast for him and then we would maybe go for a hike with the dog and/or a movie, obviously his pick! I haven’t seen him in several months, so I am counting down the days!
These are two of my favorite things, truly: coffee and Christmas cookies. My oldest sister, 10 years older, started a tradition when I was little that I’ve maintained ever since, especially with my own kids: rolling out sugar cookie dough, cutting shapes just like you’ve shown, then painting them with egg-yolk paint. You can’t rush it, so it forces you to sit down with family and be creative.
Of course, last year Amos, our larger mutt, helped himself to several dozen carefully painted cookies cooling on the kitchen counter. So I had to ship Moravian cookies from the store to my family.