I got everything I ever wanted for my sixth birthday. I got a silk-like, sky-blue nightgown with ruffles. I got to go to the county fair. I got to eat cotton candy. And I got to ride the Tilt-A-Whirl to my heart’s content – which means I rode the Tilt-A-Whirl until my brain swam Tilt-A-Whirl style, and I no longer had to get on the ride to take the ride.
Luckily, my brain stopped swimming just in time for me to spot the one and only thing I still lacked in life: an ENORMOUS, stuffed PINK dog, with sad eyes and floppy ears. I desperately, desperately needed that dog. (Show me one girl who doesn’t need a big pink dog. You can’t do it, can you? See?)
Unfortunately, my precious Pinkie-Poo was being held captive by the man in charge of the numbers game. I would have to win my dog, by betting money on the right number. My chances of doing so were one in thirty-six, seeing as how there were thirty-six numbers on the game table. Now, I was only six, but even a six-year-old knows that the chance of picking the winning number, out of thirty-six numbers, is pretty slim.
I looked at Pinkie-Poo longingly. She looked back at me just as longingly – can you really blame her? – you should’ve seen and smelled the man in charge of the numbers game. Ew. (Deodorant, people. If you don’t have it, get it, and use it. That’s all I’m saying.)
I squeezed my father’s hand and looked up at him, Super-Dad, Master of the Universe, Righter of All Wrongs, knowing that he was our only hope. (And by “our”, I mean Pinkie-Poo, myself, and pretty much all of mankind.)
Super-Dad smiled confidently, pulled out his wallet, and covered every number on the table with money. And then we took Pinkie-Poo home with us.
Which is why when my first novel was published, and it suddenly jumped to number one in category on Amazon.com, I called my dad to ask him what he was doing right now. He was like, “Huh?” I was like, “Are you on Amazon.com right now? Ordering books? Ordering lots and lots of copies of my book? What in the world are you gonna do with all those books? Do you realize you’re probably going to have to rent a storage facility just for books? Just for my books?” He was like, “Huh?” My dad seemed genuinely confused. (I get that a lot.)
Even so, whenever things work out better than I had ever dared to hope, in the back of my mind, I always wonder if my dad somehow had something to do with it. (How is that even possible? Super powers, people. Super-Dads have super powers.)
And I know that my daughter has these same kinds of thoughts. I know that she sometimes wonders if her Super-Dad donned his cape and invisible shield, and flew in on a secret, top priority mission to save her day. Sometimes my daughter asks me things like, “Did Daddy stop by my school today?” Maybe he did. Maybe he didn’t. I’ll never tell. Because whether he did or didn’t isn’t the point.
The point is that most of us kids – age six to ninety-six – know that our dads absolutely would swoop in and save the day, if we really needed them. And most of the time, just knowing that Super-Dad is there, ready to back us up, is enough. Knowing this gives us the strength and courage to do what needs doing, and comforts us when what we did wasn’t quite enough – we’ll get ‘em next time, won’t we, Super-Dad? – you bet we will! Look out evil villains!
Super-Dads make us better people, and better people make the world a better place. So, thanks, Super-Dads. Happy Father’s Day, to you, and to my very own Super-Dad.