When your dad is a minimalist, figuring out ways to celebrate Father’s Day is tough. But after a lot of trial and error I think I’ve finally figured it out.
After years of my dad quietly rejecting my gifts — a lumpy ceramic cup, a robot alarm clock and a two-foot long scarf I knitted, I accepted gift-giving defeat. Instead, I painted him a card.
My dad is an amazing artist. As a kid, we would lay out newspapers on the table and he would let me use his fancy watercolors. When I got frustrated because my drawings didn’t look like his, he dragged a mirror into the kitchen and pointed out all the shapes that made up a face. That’s how I learned everything I know about art. Those moments were part of shaping our relationship.
So every year, I steal the metal case of watercolors and spend an afternoon working on a card.
It meant a lot when I saw the card I drew of my dad and me as Kiki and Jiji from the movie Kiki’s Delivery Service pinned above his desk. I felt like I had finally cracked the Father’s Day code.
This story was originally broadcast and published on June 21, 2020.