Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to my daddy! As he's enjoying his father's day on the boat, I hope he knows how much I love him and appreciate him, and what a huge influence he's been in my life. My dad has a huge appreciation for education, which he passed on to me, and has (obviously) taught me a lot. He's taught me things that involved actual instruction, such as how to ride a bicycle, how to catch a softball in a glove, how to drive a stick shift, how to makes pigs in a blanket, how to pile wood (which I always pretended I didn't know how to do!), and how to make a snow house from the big pile of snow left by the plow. He taught me how to drive a boat, how to water ski (which I'm still no good at), how to put a worm on a hook, that if you don't know what something means you look it up in the dictionary, how to shoot a gun, that if you play with the big boys you might get hurt, and how to sail.

He's also, through his example, taught me about things that there are no instructions for. He's taught me that you should always tell the truth the first time, because the truth will always come out. He's shown me that if you have to work hard for something, it's typically worth it. He's taught me to be respectful to other people, but that you don't let people walk all over you. He's shown me that sometimes you have to take risks, and that the unknown is just something you don't know about yet, not something you have to be afraid of. He's shown me that it's not what you say, it's how you say it. (We're both still working on that one.) He's taught me that, in whatever you do, you need to do your best. He's shown me how to be confident, not to take myself too seriously, and that having fun is as important as working hard.

He's taught me that you get what you pay for, especially with cheap beer. He's shown me that fireworks are fun, and that blowing stuff up is usually pretty cool. He's taught me that thunderstorms are exciting, not scary. He's had a tremendous influence on my political beliefs, and I love talking about politics with him. He's taught me that history is important, whether it's about our country or our family. And he's shown me that a rocking chair on the porch of the club on Lake Monomonac, early in the morning when the water's like glass, is a spot that's just about as close to perfection as you'll find on earth.

My dad, rumor has it, was very curious as a child, taking things apart, blowing them up, sneaking out on the roof, and throwing rocks at cars. He definitely is a little boy at heart, and he got one of the girliest, prissiest daughters he could have ended up with. I love to see him play with my little boys, pushing them on the swings as they scream, "HIGHER GRAMPY!" I love to see his appreciation for Henry's curiosity, even as it drives my dad crazy that H will dump everything out, push every button, and touch anything he can reach. I love to hear him explain something to David, after he's asked 2393476 questions already. And I love to see him do Trot, Trot to Boston with Jack, just as he did with me when I was little. My dad has never hesitated to tell me that he's proud of me, or that he loves me, and I love to see him treat my children the same way. It's always evident immediately on his face when he's proud of them learning to ride their bicycle, when they hit the baseball off the tee, or when he sees David swimming by himself. And he never hesitates to crack up when my boys say something silly, do a crazy dance, or tell a "funny" joke.

Thank you Daddy -- I love you!

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