Today is a day that’s dedicated to honoring all of the work you put into making me a decent person.
When Steve, Lori, Amy and I were in Peru last year, and fleeing from wildfire, I realized the value of all of your safety lessons, “Don’t expect other people to take care of you,” and “If something bad happens, you get as far away from it as possible before looking back or regrouping.” I may only check my car doors once after I’ve parked, but I suspect I’ve dodged at least a few dangers in my life because of all the safety lessons you drilled into me.
Although I look at softball as a demon in my life sometimes, I also know that my work ethic, ability to break tasks down and understand them, and my skills in teamwork are largely attributable to softball and the hours and hours you spent taking wild pitches to the shins… and then there was that one time when I accidentally threw a bat at you. Thank you for all you gave up in time and ease of motion to make my dreams come true.
In the academic arena, I didn’t struggle a whole lot, but I recently remembered the initial struggle I was having with Algebra. I think it was the idea of variables representing numbers (that weren’t provided to us) that was my hang-up, but I distinctly remember the moment I got it, and it had nothing to do with teachers explaining things it me, or at least not in the traditional sense of the word “teacher.” It was when you and I were going over a word problem where I had to algebraically represent the question, and the way you explained it made things just click. It’s that moment that got me through all of my high school math… a year ahead of my peers. Thank you.
Then, there are the less lesson-oriented things you’ve given me that make me who I am. Because of you, I understand and enjoy sci-fi and fantasy in film and video games (something most girls just don’t get), I own more books than I’ll probably ever read, I have areas of interest that range from theology to art, coffee to psychology, history to running, entertainment media to travel, and home decor to grammar. I don’t know many people who have nearly as many interests as I have, and I only have those interests because you modeled a constant hunger for knowledge… an insatiable curiosity.
Thank you for forcing me to run errands with you when I was vehemently opposed, thank you for finding and obtaining that bootlegged copy of The Torkelsons for me (it’s still my favorite show), thank you for taking my side when I was often too afraid to stand up for myself as a kid, thank you for calling me out on my kindergarten swimming pool lie (I tell the truth to this day because of it), thank you for making me chicken and stars everyday after kindergarten, and thank you for so many $15 tips to Barnes and Noble… as recently as my last visit to North Carolina. Most of all, however, thank you for being my dad.
I love you,