He was 50 years old when I was born, and a "Mr. Mom" long before anyone had a name for it. I didn't know why he was home instead of Mom, but I was young and the only one of my friends who had their dad around. I considered myself very lucky.
Dad did so many things for me during my grade school years. He convinced the school bus driver to pick me up at my house instead of the usual bus stop that was six blocks away. He always had my lunch ready for me when I came home- -usually a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that was shaped for the season and holidays (hearts for Valentine's, eggs for Easter and so on). My favorite was at Christmas. The sandwiches would be sprinkled with green sugar and cut in the shape of a tree.
As I got a little older and tried to gain my independence, I wanted to move away from those "childish" signs of his love. But he wasn't going to give up. In high school and no longer able to go home for lunch, I began taking my own. Dad would get up a little early and make it for me I never knew what to expect.
The outside of the sack might be covered with his rendering of a mountain scene (it became his trademark) or a heart inscribed with "Dad-n-Angie K.K." in its center. Inside there would be a napkin with that same heart or an "I love you." Many times he would write a joke or a riddle, such as "Why don't they ever call it a momsicle instead of a popsicle?" He always had some silly saying to make me smile and let me know that he loved me.