I don’t know if you’ve met my dad, but if you haven’t you really ought to. He’s one fantastic dude. I’m actually one of those kids who suffered because her parents were a little bit too cool, rendering me a stick-up-the-ass teetotaler in my teens and early twenties. After all, I figured that the only way to rebel when faced with too cool parents is to be a square. Fortunately I got over that phase and realized that my dad isn’t just somebody who is all the things a great father ought to be, he’s also all the things that a great friend ought to be. And that’s a trickier balance than you might expect.
I was a lucky kid in that I got to spend a lot of time with my dad growing up. While I occasionally referred to him as a “fun fascist” because of all of the activities—skiing, snowboarding, camping, mountain biking, hiking, windsurfing—that filled our family weekends and vacations, I’m now grateful that he instilled in me that being active and spending time outside will do wonders for one’s outlook on life. My dad was also pretty devoted to reading to me when I was a kid and he spent many long hours every night reading aloud stacks and stacks of books to me. I know that not everybody is fortunate enough to have a lot of quality time with both their parents—especially when both of them work—and I feel really blessed to have had the kind of childhood that I did.
As an adult, I’ve come to discover that my father is a really tender, non-judgmental listener and dispenser of good advice. I’ve come to rely more and more on his wisdom in recent years. My father hasn’t led a very traditional life – his decisions have more often prioritized living to the fullest in the present moment. Perhaps on account of this he doesn’t always resemble other men of his age or generation. He also often seems to be one of the happiest and sanest people I know, so maybe we should all take a lesson from him. I deeply admire his enthusiasm for even the smallest things in life, his voracious appetite for all things fascinating and new, and his tremendous capacity for generosity, both with the people he loves and complete strangers. He’s also hands-down the most fun guy you’ll ever meet and I doubt anybody that knows him would argue otherwise. His vigor and kindness are contagious and I know that the corners of the world that he inhabits are much the better for his presence.
So here’s a rather sappy shout-out to my dad – I miss you today and sure wish we could be spending it together. Happy Father’s Day!