In our house it was my dad who took the kids out in the evenings to find ladybugs and worms along our neighborhood trail. It was my dad who scooped us up from the bath with a towel and carried us around like a stork delivering a baby.
Dad was the fingernail cutter in our house. He would clip off almost all of the nail but leave a little bit attached so that we could pick the last bit off ourselves. In our house daddy was the joke player, so you better be on the lookout all the time!
Daddy taught us to put glue on our hands so we could peel it off slowly, how to ride a bike without training wheels, and that working hard at something will make you a better person.
In second grade my dad took me out to breakfast every Friday morning to study my spelling words at the Clearview Café. I would order four pieces bacon and he would order eggs and toast. He would drive me to school, give me a kiss, and say good luck sweetie – work hard.
All three of us got to be a coaches kid growing up. The rule in our house was that the coaches kid needed to be the first one there, the last one to leave, and the hardest worker. The coaches kid got no special treatment. There was a time when my dad was coaching fastpitch practice at Kokanee Elementary and no assistant coaches could make it that day.
On accident… And I stress that this was an accident! I hit my brother in the eye with a baseball bat. My dad was alone with 14 nine-year-old girls and his four-year-old son. He found the first aid kit, cracked open an ice pack, and propped my brother up against the fence until practice was over. As we packed up the van he scooped my brother up, gave him a kiss, and told him how proud of him he was.
In our household both parents were always present at every soccer game, softball game, wrestling match, basketball game, football game, crew meet, and horse show. When taking Jessie to any of these events it meant taking two cars because if her team lost there was not one person on earth who could bear the car ride home with her. Daddy was the one who always drew the short stick and listened to her meltdown all the way home.
Dad was the one who took you to the emergency room when you cut your finger off, dad was the one to teach you to drive, to change a tire, and how to shoot a gun. At 58 years old my dad kicked our butts in a game of badminton, though I will deny it to anyone who repeats that!
Dad always encouraged us to try new things, to have an adventure, to be wild, to be proud, and to work hard.
So how can I live a life worthy of his legacy? If I can be as kind and generous and as bad ass as my dad, I think that will be a start.
So happy Father’s Day to my mentor and inspiration, my coach, my perspicaciously witty, and relentlessly hard-working father. I love you, we all love you.