Meet Paul Watts, he’s my dad.

I find with Father’s Day, I usually focus on gadgets and what to get him instead of recognising what makes him great and telling those stories (like I do for my mom). So this year, I thought I’d use this platform to change it up a bit.

My dad is a jack of all trades, master of none. In fact, he’d often use that phrase to describe himself during my childhood. There was the bike-repair/cycling period. There was the soccer coach period. There was the fishing and boats period. My parents’ shed is a testament to all of the things my dad took an interest in and learned to do.

And for each of these periods, I have great memories of hanging out with my dad. In my memory, the bike-repair/cycling period started when I joined a cycling club at school. The club would go for long bike trips at the weekend, and my dad would come along.

The fishing and boating period was big when we lived in Louisiana. My dad would take us out on “alligator hunts” in his fishing boat. He’s recently re-entered the fishing phase much to the delight of his grandsons.

But I think my favourite stories about my dad are about his time in the US Navy. He was part of the crew of P-3 Orions flying on missions around the world in the 1980s. He used to take us in to the airplane hangers and show us around. And when he’d leave on the trips, my mom would take us to a restaurant near the airbase and let us watch as planes took off.

Out of these memories, I really only have the photo above to remind me and help me tell the story. Which is kind of a huge bummer. While the memory of cycling with my Dad is a pretty vivid still, I know it won’t last forever. And to be honest, the memories of the boat rides in Louisiana are already starting to fade. More importantly, these are stories I’d like to share with my boys so they know a bit more about their Pepere, and I know the photos would help make the stories real for them.

I want my boys to have pictures of their favourite memories with their Pepere and their dad. So I’m trying to be mindful these days of how they spend time together and to grab a picture every now and then to capture their stories. I’m also going to make sure I grab a photo of me and my dad the next time I see him!

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