When I was younger I once went roller skating with my father. He told me, “Sometimes the roller-rink is a lot like life, you’ll want to be careful around people that look a little shaky.”
I didn’t think much of the comment at the time, but as I grew older, I realized that he was absolutely right. When on the road if you see someone drifting back and forth across the lanes, it’s best if you keep a little ways back. Likewise, people in your life that have no control can sometimes bring you down if you let them.
There is something that he didn’t mention though, and I have half the mind to think that it didn’t even need to be said; “…and you’ll always have me to help you up.”
There’s never been a day in my life when I didn’t feel like my dad was there for me. Whether I’m in the same room as him, or 900 miles away, I always have the sense that he’s got my back during the good times and the bad times.
There are so many roles that my father fulfills in my life. He acts as moral support, critical evaluator of my choices, best friend, and editor. Most of my best writing is due to his excellent editing skills, but I didn’t have him edit this because I wanted it to be a surprise. (witch explans all the speling and gramer mistacks in this post)
Just yesterday my father and I went over to the local soccer field to play some Frisbee. As usual I was impressed by catches he was able to make that would be out of the question for people half his age. We played until we were sore, and then we played for a little bit longer. After a while I decided to ask him for some advice on some personal things in my life.
We sat down in the grass and just talked for a while, he imparted plenty of unintended wisdom, and I listened. As I’ve gotten older I’ve come to recognize my dad as much a peer as he is a father figure. Yesterday was not an anomaly, moments like that are common between the two of us, and I love that.
He’s a man who stopped aging in college. Still an avid RISK player, my dad has fit right in when he comes to visit Christopher Newport University. He stays in the dorms and talks politics and philosophy with the enlightened interest of any of my friends.
I also wish to applaud his taste in music. If not for him, who knows if I would have ever become such a fan of the Beatles, or Elton John, or Billy Joel. The oldies seem to be an uninteresting genre for most people my age, yet I have had the pleasure of growing up with them and enjoying them alongside my dad.
What’s more is that my dad actually enjoys some of today’s music. He enjoys jamming to some Jason Mraz or Jack Johnson. He is not at all one of those people that find themselves saying, “Well, back in my day, music was better!” I appreciate his lack of “curmudgeoniness”.
I could go on and on describing just how awesome my dad is, I could describe his under-appreciated public speaking skills, his intelligent handle on politics, or his unrivaled work-ethic and devotion to his family, but I’m afraid I would run out of space on the internet.
There’s no greater man I know than my father. He is a mentor and a friend, and I appreciate every minute with him.
Happy Father’s Day Dad.