I spent the first 12 summers of my life on a fishing boat in Southeast Alaska. My first boat trip to Alaska was when I was six weeks old. My Daddy was a commercial salmon fisherman.
Actually, he still is. And every May, he packs up his truck with nets, tons of supplies from Costco (especially coffee beans!) and his little schipperke dog, Roger, and they head up the Al-Can highway to Skagway, Alaska. That is where he keeps his boat, the Kindred Spirit. He built that boat when I was two years old. And it's still chugging along. They've only had one close call where they took on a lot of water and had to be towed back to port, using the bilge to pump as much water out as they could to stay afloat.
Luckily, my Daddy is a really good fisherman, and also very safe. He never goes too far away from other boats, should the need for help arise. He's often alone, he never has a crew member. My Mom goes up from time to time, but since G's been here, she's reluctant to spend an entire summer away. So it's just Dad and Roger. But this year, Roger is too old to go. So it's just Dad and his coffee.
Yesterday, G and I made the 90 minute trek up to my parents house to say good-bye to my Dad (who G calls Papa), who will be gone for FIVE MONTHS.
You think, after 31 years of this, I'd get used to it.
But I never, ever have, and probably never will. Every time I say bye to my Dad for the summer, I cry.
Not little sniffles, but hearty sobs.
I'm a Daddy's girl. In the best sense of the word. My Dad is awesome. He's a wonderful, gentle man. He can do anything. He can rebuild an engine, build furniture, and split firewood for the winter, but also has no qualms about cleaning the house and making dinner.
My husband is much the same way. Not so big on the cooking and cleaning (ha) but he is one of the most creative, intelligent people I've ever met. If he doesn't know how to do something, he'll figure it out. He questions everything and is always reading up on things he doesn't understand. He watches NOVA. He watches that channel that shows the space station in real time. He's interested in quantum physics. But he'll also sit down and watch Dumb & Dumber with me. And to top it off, he's an amazing father.
Yeah, he's a real renaissance man.
In raising a son, I can only hope we can teach G to be as self-sufficient and intelligent as his Daddy and Papa.
I think we'll do fine. He's got some good men to teach him.