Abu el Banat

There’s an episode of The West Wing where President Bartlet describes a trip his family took to Egypt, where the Bedouin guide kept introducing him to locals as “Abu el Banat.”  The locals would then offer him tea, because it seemed “the least they could do.”

Abu el Banat means “Father of Daughters.”

My dad is also a Father of Daughters.

On my first trip to Disney, he took 2-year-old me on It’s a Small World, by himself.  When the ride was over, I started crying.  “I want to see more dollies!”

He took me on the ride again.  And again.  I still love that ride.

My dad loves sports, and played basketball and football in school.  Neither my sister nor I were ever great athletes, although we did both end up lettering, me in tennis and her in swimming.  My dad has been playing tennis with me basically since I was big enough to hold a racket.  I liked playing tennis in high school, but just hitting around with my dad has always been my favorite.  We don’t play points, we just rally.  My dad says the objective is to hit the ball right back at him, so he doesn’t have to run around the court.  Mostly, I oblige.

My dad is well-versed in Babysitter’s Club lore, because I had literally hundreds of those books as a pre-teen.  And he read practically all of them.  I should ask him which babysitter was his favorite.  I would guess Kristy or Mary Anne.

My dad was always a big hit at the sleep-overs my sister or I had growing up.  He would make pancakes for the group of sleepy girls in the morning, and he makes the best pancakes.  I believe “These are better than my mom’s!” was heard more than once from various friends.

So here’s to fathers, but especially those long-suffering fathers of little girls.  They sure do their best even when they’re in way over their heads.  Love you, Dadman.

I sent my dad this ecard today.
I sent my dad this ecard today.

3 thoughts on “Abu el Banat

  1. starwarsanon June 17, 2014 / 1:12 pm

    This is so sweet! My mom was actually the one who took me around and around on It’s a Small World when I was two.

    My dad was an awesome tennis player when he was younger, so he would have loved to have a daughter like you! My sister and I didn’t mind it, but weren’t about to continue it. My sister ended up stopping sports altogether by the time she was 10, and I continued softball until I was 15. My brothers played baseball, basketball, and football so he got some sports in there!


    • Mei-Mei June 17, 2014 / 10:52 pm

      Yeah, my sister was not nearly so into tennis. I remember once when we were little, she just stood on the court holding the racket on her head sticking up, and said that she was a “tennis alien.” But my dad coached her on soccer and basketball teams through elementary school, while I thankfully never had to do team sports. Not my thing.

      My dad actually thanked me for the post when I called, so I think he appreciated it 🙂


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