Daddy Cool

‘The monsters are gone.’
’Really?’ Doubtful.
’I killed the monsters. That’s what fathers do.’
— Fiona Wallace

It's hard to believe that another year has gone since I first wrote about the Kennebec last Father's Day. Introducing his sartorial splendour and effortless use of the phrase 'bloody hell' to the reading public was a joy and also made him extremely uncomfortable, so I got double the funsies out of that blog post.

But a lot can happen in a year. And I have to say, on several levels 2013 has brought with it not only joy but some fairly high standards of craptacularity.

Through it all though is that constant beacon of steadiness which is my Dad. The Kenster. One day I am sure I will actually show him some respect and call him something nice, but not just yet.

Respectability is for old men, not my Popsicle.

Look at that photo. That is (fairly obviously) my mother and father on their wedding day. I would like to say that my dad looks as dashing as my mother looks beautiful, but basically he just looks naughty. It's quite possible that he was also feeling extremely hungover or even inebriated, but as that's not my story to tell I won't tell it - oh wait, I just did.

My parents are both an inspiration to me. They are good people. They are honest. They are kind. They love their children unconditionally, and strangely they also seem to like us. They adore (to the point of Scary Grand-Parent Status) the Hugh-bot.

And the thing I love about both of them - and I suppose especially about my dad, and it's something I talked about in a professional column on Friday - is this;

They always encouraged me and said 'Yes, you are good enough.
Yes, you can be anything you want.'

Ken never tried to steer me away from boys' toys and towards girly guff. He always let me find my own path - and if that path led to lying beside him under the bonnet of the Datsun 220Y, then so be it. Or for that matter climbing up above the hot water service, or under the house, or learning to strip co-axial cable - if I was interested, then he was interested in teaching me about it.

He dealt with my hysterical tears when I went back to school every term from our little country town and he had to drop me off after driving me down to Hobart. I would hang my head in the driver's side window begging not to go in, and poor Kennebec (not the best at emotions) would have this sodden 13 year old digging her fingernails into the car door as he drove away.

The best part was the grown-up dinners he bribed me with the night before. Good work Dad.

We make demon Badminton doubles partners. I can't say the same about playing golf together, because the few times it's been attempted, I have wanted to wrap a club around his head because he's brilliant and I am useless, and I am certain the feeling is reciprocated - but that's OK.

I just ask him about his game every week and leave it at that. And wish I had his ability and grumble quietly to myself.

My father has integrity. He has strength. He works hard - still - and he has done since he was 16. He often gets overlooked because he just sits quietly in the back ground, beavering away - and sometimes I think others forget how much he does for them without their even noticing.

He is, above everything else in the world, two things. And I am eminently grateful for both of them.

He is a good man.

And he is my father.

Happy Father's Day, Kenny.  I love you.

I'd call you Dad, but then you wouldn't know who I was talking about.