A friend and coworker told me a delightful story the other day. When he has spare change he drops it in parking lots. Why? Because when one of his daughters was young, he noticed that she had inherited his extreme ability to quickly spot when things were out of place. This ability meant they both always noticed when there were coins on the ground. Over time they got into the habit of collecting those coins in a special jar, and when they got enough money they’d have a father/daughter outing, such as going to see the movie Pocahontas or getting ice cream at the mall.
Now that she’s grown up and moved away, they naturally don’t do this anymore. So now he drops coins in parking lots because he figures somewhere out there is another father and daughter who have taken up the torch and he wants to contribute. He never mentioned to his daughter that he does this until just the other day, and she laughed and told him she does the exact same thing.
So there you have it. This ritual connects them to this day. And I suspect this tradition will get passed down through generations of his family, because I can’t imagine a sweeter or more delightful way to say, “I love you just the way you are and I want to spend time with you.”
Stories like this make me wish I had known what it was like to have a father. For those of you who have one, remember that it’s never too late to start a new tradition.
Happy Father’s Day.
This particular coworker passed away after I wrote this. He was an amazing man. May he rest in peace. I wrote about him here.