The tile floor in the kids’ bathroom is brand new. I noticed it a couple weeks ago when I came home to see Rob Delaney in Buffalo with my brothers.
Some faceless nobody came in, pulled up the old linoleum floor, discarded it then carefully arranged the new tiles in a perfect pattern, complemented by the grey grout. It’s no underestimation when I say “perfect.” One tile matches up with the other, the grout’s level is consistent between the tiles; whomever got down on hands and knees to install the new floor paid very close attention to detail.
The tiles in the bathroom of my friend’s off-campus house aren’t aligned at all. I understand college housing isn’t always that nice, but whomever did that floor installation did a really shitty job.
I may have more in common with my mother in terms of career paths, personality and physical appearance, but I definitely get my meticulousness from my daddy. I don’t write about him nearly enough.
He carefully measures tiles, marks them up with pencil and then cuts them accordingly to fit whatever space he’s working in. They’re always even, always lined up, always perfect. He doesn’t half ass anything; if he screws a tile up, he scraps it for future use and picks up a new one to cut.
That random man who kills his knees, damages his spine and strains his neck on a regular basis to install the floors in your respective homes is my daddy.
My daddy didn’t go to college; his career isn’t glamorous; he isn’t astonishingly successful. He went to a trade school, learned what he needed and works on his own time with his own equipment. Because of his self-made schedule, he didn’t miss a single baseball game, basketball game, wrestling match or track/cross country meet. He made it to every play, every musical, every band concert.
My three brothers and I are the center of his universe and he has sacrificed plenty for us, from bartering work with our orthodontist to pay for braces to paying for car insurance until we’re able to do it ourselves.
The little things I do for him –– buying him a coffee mug from every place I travel to, giving him a call when walking home at dark to put his mind at ease, texting “I love you” –– just don’t compare to everything he’s done for me.
Though I most definitely got my personality from my mother –– and my father likes to remind me of this often –– I hope I got a mere inkling of my daddy’s hardworking nature and complete selflessness from the genetic whirlpool.
I hope he’s as proud to call me his daughter as I am to call him “Daddy.”