Cydania: How did you find out you were going to be a dad?
Dad: Your mom wasn’t feeling well for a while, she went to her doctor and found out she was pregnant again.
Cydania: Were you excited?
Dad: Of course. Very excited. We tried for a long time. Two years earlier your mom had a miscarriage. We were getting up in age and didn’t think we were going to have a kid. We went to City Island and had a lobster dinner.
Cydania: What were your first impressions of me?
Dad: You had a very hairy head. Your hair was over an inch long. All the nurses were like look at the hair on that baby’s head.
Cydania: My mom also told me one of the first things the doctor said after I was born was congratulations you have a baby girl and she’s the hairiest baby I’ve ever seen. I was cursed from a young age.
Cydania: I always get comments about my name. Did you play a role in naming me?
Dad: No role. Your mom already had the name picked out. She wanted to know if she was carrying a boy or girl as soon as she could. The doctors said she was carrying a girl. You got Cydania.
Cydania: Was I a quiet baby?
Dad: You were a good baby. You didn’t get in trouble. No temper tantrums. You didn’t run or knock over stuff when in the store.
Cydania: What was your favorite event with me?
Dad: We had a few. We’d go to Flushing Meadow Park for a picnic or BBQ’s. You liked running around. You didn’t want to leave the park. We were still living in the Bronx at the time. We didn’t have a backyard. You loved trip to the parks. We also liked going to Orchard Park.
Cydania: I remember playing whiffle ball in Hempstead and watching wind sailors at Jones Beach.
Dad: We also went fishing a lot in Queens and at Long Beach. You would catch more fish than me sometimes.
Cydania: I always made you bait my line because I didn’t want to touch the worms.
Dad: When we moved to Hempstead, I got you a bike with training wheels. You learned to ride quickly. I didn’t have to run behind you that much once the training wheels were off.
Cydania: Any bloopers or funny moments?
Dad: At the time it wasn’t funny. You were learning how to walk in your walker. You somehow got lots of speed and ended up crashing head first into the pointy end of the coffee table. You cried, but you got back up. You just didn’t go near that table anymore.
Cydania: I still have that little dent on my forehead. I’m surprised I didn’t knock myself out. I must have been hard headed.
Now you all have had the opportunity to meet my dad, Cliff. Dad has always been a great provider. He made sure that mom and I had food to eat, a roof over our heads and clothes on our back. Though mom took care of the inner workings of the household, dad was in charge of the outside. It was with him where I learned how to mow the lawn, trim the hedges, help change the car oil and brake pads, help dig holes for fence poles and put together a ridiculous utility shed. Then there were times when my Pontiac broke down on Route 74 in North Carolina and dad came and got me. He also gave me money to pay my bills when I was unemployed.
To my dad,
I thank you for being there for me and for letting me interview you on the phone for over 90 minutes. Who knew dad could talk so much J