A Happy Belated Dad’s day to all you dads out there. I would have written this yesterday, but we were doing family stuff and it just never happened. So a day late, unfortunately.
I often tell my boys they have one of the greatest daddies in the world. I have to say “one of” because I can’t forget my own dad. I can’t say one is greater than the other! ; )
In my own mind, I define success as the distance you’ve come from where you started. By that measure, Tom is a success. But my dad is even more so.
He was born breech in a rural farmhouse with no doctor. By rights, he and my grandma should have both died. But both made it. For obvious reasons, he was an only child. If I’d had a kid that way, I too would have only gone through it only once.
What I know of his childhood is sketchy at best (though I’m working on prying it out of him). He and his parents traveled around the country in an Airstream trailer; Grandpa was a carpenter and built houses.
He didn’t do that well in school. Met Mom, she worked him through college, then a masters degree. For someone who didn’t do that well in math as a child, he went to college to study statistics. He started over from the very beginning of math 101 and made sure he knew every concept before he went on. I barely understand statistics; my theory is, baseball pretty much only exists to teach statistical properties to little boys.
From such humble beginnings, Dad is now a successful bio-statistician. He’s traveled the world, a big thing for the child from the middle-of-nowhere.
He’s worked hard in his life. He started his own business and worked on books while still working full-time. But he always, always made time for me and my brother.
He was a Boy Scout assitant leader. He and my brother did Boy Scouts together for years. Campouts, hikes, summer camps, you name it.
Dad would sit and read while I practiced my flute when I was just starting. That meant a lot to me; it was like having a personal audience.
He taught himself how to cook Chinese food, way back before it was trendy. We had complete Chinese banquets at our house, served on real Chinese tableware.
He took me for sushi when I was 8 years old and I fell in love with it. Because of him, I fear no food and love to restaurant hunt. We’d go for sushi and used book stores (another love of mine due to my dad) every couple of months. I loved those days with him.
He taught me and my brother to be comfortable traveling, to be comfortable at the little greasy-spoon diner or the fanciest restaurant, to be open-minded. He taught us by example that learning doesn’t stop at the school door, and that your education must never be sacrificed by your schooling. I love watching “non-fiction” on TV: documentaries, science shows, that sort of thing. Got that from him.
I love my dad. I love that my boys adore him, and he adores them. He is such a good man. He and my mom have been married for almost 40 years (40 years!!!!!) and are still so much in love. He and Tom are a lot alike, and get along great. One of the funniest memories I have of the two of them was when I was pregnant with A: they had a Scotch tasting. Whew…I’m sure I remember more of that night than either one of them! ; )
Dad is loving, generous, and fun. I wish we lived closer together, but email, phone calls, and cheap airfare is making it possible for my boys to know him and me to keep in contact. Happy Father’s Day, Dad. I love you.