When I announced my plan to move to Hawaii this year my father’s response was blasé and unruffled. “I figured it was only a matter of time. No surprise to me.” He was much more concerned with getting my birthday present right than with what it would mean for me to relocate 3,000 more miles away from him.
Perhaps he remembers my ever-present childhood longing to be warmer than whatever temperature I was. Don’t let my pale skin and light hair fool you; I was not built for cold weather.
As a kid I would shiver loudly at the breakfast table and stomp around the house whining about the lack of heat. When my sister and I spent nights at our aunt’s creaky old farmhouse I would cry until she piled as many as six or seven afghans on me at bedtime. As a fearless, defiant teenager I simply turned the heat up to 75 degrees in the house anytime my mother wasn’t looking. Eventually she would realize and turn it back down to 68 and I would immediately raise it again. So began the first of many silent wars between us. Oh I could write an entire book called Silent Wars of the Nineteen Nineties, but I digress… (Hi mom!)
Maybe my father’s nonchalance was because he will be retiring soon and he loves boats and oceans more than anything. What better than a daughter who lives on an island in the Pacific?
Both are possible, but most likely it’s because my father is one of the few people in my life who trusts without doubt that I mean what I say and I will follow through on anything I put my mind to. I’ve been talking about moving to Hawaii for years, it’s no surprise to him that I’m finally going to do it. He doesn’t worry about ramifications because he believes I can handle them all. He doesn’t try to talk me out of things; he just offers to help anytime I stumble.
The Golden Girls DVD boxed set I’m anxiously awaiting from the mailman will be a top notch birthday present for sure, whether it comes in a faux seashell purse like Sophia’s or not. But unconditionally believing in me, that’s the best gift my dad has ever given me.