Non-Profit Internet Source for News, Events, History, & Culture of Northern Frederick & Carroll County Md./Southern Adams County Pa.

 

Four Years at the Mount

Sophomore year

Ice cream dad

Angela Tongohan
Class of 2020

(6/2017) My dad loves the month of June, partially because it is his birth month, and partially because of Fatherís Day. I canít say I blame him. If we think about it, there are a handful of holidays that mainly celebrate the woman in a relationship: Motherís Day, Valentineís Day, Thanksgiving (because of the dinner), and a few selected for their own unique reasons. A man is only really celebrated during two occasions: their birthday and Fatherís Day, granted that they are, in fact, a father.

Well, my dad always insisted on celebrating his birthday and Fatherís Day during two separate weekends, despite them being only a few days apart.

I always struggled during Fatherís Day. I reached the age of eleven without a father figure in my life. My parents were the unfortunate victims of a messy divorce, and after an amicable reunion, agreed that I was better off growing up without switching from one household to another.

When my mother married my stepdad, my world turned upside down. It was bizarre, a new person in the house. It meant an extra seat to set at the dinner table, another person to fight over the remote control with. It meant another car in our driveway, crazy rock music blasting at eight in the morning, and a whole other personís junk sprawled all over our house.

He arrived during my prepubescent years, so it is safe to say that the transition was not the smoothest in history. But I did learn a very important lesson, and that was to love unconditionally.

I did not think it was possible for me to love anyone as much as I loved my mother, especially not someone who was not my own blood. But I learned to love him. He taught me how to drive, how to fix cars. He picked me up from school whenever I needed to stay for extracurricular, and he attended the school meetings my mom couldnít attend.

He learned and remembered things about me; the small things, the things I appreciated most. When I was still in high school, I used to dedicate my Monday nights to watching sad movies. I called it Sad Movie Monday. My dad used to buy buckets of mint chocolate chip ice-cream and boxes of Drumsticks Sunday night because he knew how much ice-cream cheered me up.

I did not realize how big of a part my stepdad played in my life until the summer of 2016 when he went to the Philippines for a month. It was the first time since my parents got married that I didnít see him for longer than a few days.

Everything seemed off. My mom went to sleep early. Everyone was able to sleep in without being woken up by crazy loud music in the morning. Cans of coke no longer littered the kitchen, and the line of neatly shined shoes sat untouched.

There was something missing in our lives. And I eventually realized that was my dad.

This year is the first year that I wonít be around for the month of June. As an attempt to try and become a more independent woman, I have packed my summer schedule with a full-time job and summer classes. I spend barely any time at home. Motherís Day was not nearly as lustrous and I donít expect Fatherís Day to be any more spectacular.

But despite the fact that I wonít be around as much as Iíd like to, I do sincerely appreciate him, as I think many of us appreciate our fathers. He was always around when I needed someone to talk to. He was always around to fix the things I broke, and he watched corny action movies with me.

I do wish the best for my dad. He has become as much a part of my life as a real dad would have. Their efforts may not be as obvious as those of our mothers, for example, in my house, my mother usually cooks meals and cleans the house. My mother is also the one who seems most in touch with feelings and sensing problems.

My dad does not necessarily show emotions. He doesnít ask me how I am doing or how I am feeling or whether I am sad or angry or lonely. He doesnít hover, he doesnít prod. He is there. He hands me a bowl of ice-cream whenever he thinks I am sad, or he shows me the tulips he helped grow in the garden because he knows they are my favorite flowers.

Dads are our role models because of how much they hold the household together. He doesnít complain or rant like my mother does, but instead silently walks into the house with tired eyes. He doesnít complain because he has accepted his role of being the patriarch of the family.

I love my dad. And although we fight, and although we donít talk as much as I do to my mother, I know that he loves me.

And how do I know, you may ask? He doesnít say it often, I can tell you that.

Whenever I come home, he will be sitting on the couch, two bowls of ice cream sitting on the coffee table, a poorly made action movie playing on the T.V.

He wonít say anything, but he doesnít have to.

I love you, dad. Happy Fatherís Day.

Read other articles by Angela Tongohan