No bones about it: I am a Daddy's girl. Now, I'm not the girl who thinks my dad can do zero wrong. But I love him to death and admire him more than I can ever say.
The other morning, I was listening to a local sports-talk show and the host was asking his listeners to call in and tell how their dad played a role in their love of sports. If I'd had the time, I would so have been on the line......
Picture this: it's the early 1970s. My dad is in his late 20s, but already on the hamster wheel of life. He's working a full-time job and going to community college full-time too. He has a wife, daughter, and disabled mother-in-law to support, and going to college is going to at least give him a shot to do a little more. Sundays are truly a day of rest for him, so Saturday is the only opportunity he has to do all those things that don't get done during the week: lawn mowing, car repair, home improvements, you name it.......
He comes in at lunch from whatever chore is being done for a quick bite and just a little rest in front of the TV. And there's his little girl, sitting right next to him. She's a little different from other kids - shorter, chubbier, loves reading more than anything else, but she's got on NBC's Game of the Week with Joe Garagiola and Tony Kubek. And hey - the Reds are playing! So he takes a few extra minutes to watch an inning or two with her, explain a few of the basic rules, etc. And come fall, instead of Saturdays, he'll do it on Sundays with the NFL -- watch the game, explain some of the basic rules, because doggone it, those Steelers are great!
That, dear friends, is how I became a huge sports fan. Couldn't play them to save my life because of the chubbies and the klutzies, but I love watching the game. And to this day, I still watch NFL, MLB, college baseball, college football.... heck, I'll watch a Little League team from Taiwan play (just like the 70s, huh?). All because my dad took a few minutes each weekend to sit with me and show me how it worked. Yes, he had a million things to do. He could have easily said, "I don't have time for that." But he didn't.
My dad showed me the value of hard work, stressed to me the importance of a good education. Reading bored/bores him to tears (and sleep) but he always encouraged me to read if I truly enjoyed it. Math was his strong suit -- the man didn't graduate high school, but he has an associate's degree and could do algebra and trig in his sleep at one point. In 8th grade, when I was struggling with some algebraic concepts, he got out his old college math books, even his GED prep books and showed me a different way of looking at the same equation. He's in his late 60s and still working .....
I am very much like him. I work too hard, play too hard, we both play catcher when asked, we've both had concussions that still make us go "whoa" on rare occasions. We have our differences: he's older and more conservative, I'm younger and still believe in the ideals of my youth, even if they've been tempered by time and practicality. And there are a few other things on which we will not be seeing eye-to-eye.
But I have the world's best daddy. Sorry to everyone else who thinks their dad has that title, but no. Mine. Mine, mine, mine! I only halfway joke that I am still single in my 40s because I have not found the man who treats me anywhere nearly as well as my daddy does.
Mechanic, plumber, builder, sounding board, listening ear, reality check ..... Daddy.
Happy Father's Day, Daddy!!!!