Tag Archives: Thanks Dad

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Okay, I lied.

It seems like I do have something important to say today.

I’m just stopping by for a quick shout out to my dad, my namesake and the big dude who taught me everything he knows — but not everything I know — about how to be a dad. Sometimes he did it by setting an example, and sometimes he did it by showing me what not to do.

Either way, I learned more from that man than I could have from a library full of books.

He taught me that if it was important to his son that he coach in sports, then he took the time off his job to be there for his son and coach whatever sport was in season. Dad coached me in tackle football, baseball, basketball, just about everything I ever wanted to play. When I made the school track team in shot put and discus and the mile relay, it was my dad who took me aside and showed me how to do it all.

He taught me that you didn’t have to go along with the herd, even if you wanted to achieve the same goal as it did. He’s a doctor, but he didn’t undergraduate major in anything science-y. He majored in English because he enjoyed it.

He’s also the man who showed me the value and the warmth of a real Hawaiian shirt with the wooden buttons. My wife, known to me as She Who Must Not Be Allowed Near My Closet With Anything Remotely Sharp, might not like them, but I love my Hawaiian shirt collection.

He’s also the man who brought home the first science fiction/fantasy book I remember reading. It was the middle book in a trilogy, but I was hooked for life. He set me on a path toward some exceedingly strange places, that I’m so very glad I found. He nurtured my love of reading and words and creating with them and I can’t thank him enough.

He’s also the man who helped shape my sense of humor. So, yeah, he’s the one you can blame.

Thanks, Dad, for being such a great mentor, teacher, coach and cheerleader all rolled up into one dad-sized package that kept pushing, prodding and questioning, all the while letting me know I was loved no matter what I did, as long as what I did made me happy.

Happy birthday!

Before I go, though, answer me one question: Who’s on first.

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Father’s Day

Today is an important day, and not just because I’m going to be getting some more presents. Although, really, that’s a pretty nice bonus. This is a day to celebrate what we’re all trying our best to do, to be good dads. It’s Father’s Day! Let’s party like it’s 19-99! Okay, sorry for the dated pop culture reference, but it just slipped out. In fact, I’m not even apologizing. It’s Father’s Day today. I get that one for free.

Anyway, I’m sure you all have sent out your Father’s Day cards and already called up your old man. It’s rather like paying it forward. You can’t really expect to be treated the right way if you don’t treat the other dads in your life the right way.

Today is a day to say thanks. Even if your dad wasn’t the greatest, there must have been something good about him, something that helped you to become the dude you are today. That’s what you need to thank him for. Today is a day to be positive.

With that in mind, thanks, Dad, for making it to most of my sporting events when I was younger and also coaching a lot of my teams. You set a good example for me to live up to. How you actually made it through coaching me all those years without actually killing me, I’ll never know, but I do appreciate it.

There are so many good memories I have of my dad, including the day he decided to show me how Tarzan swung on a vine. He grabbed the vine and launched himself out over the creek. Only to have the vine break on him halfway across, dropping him flat on his back in the middle of the creek. That was a lesson well learned.

I also learned that it is probably not a good idea to decide you need a good stretch during your child’s sporting event and do so while standing between the spectators and the game. Really. Don’t ask.

Most important of all, though, I learned that it is possible to love your son and daughter as much as possible and to want only the best for them, even when you don’t agree with what they’re doing. You just want them to be happy, and that’s all that matters to you. Yeah, that’s what I most remember about my dad. Not that he’s dead, or anything like that. It’s just that he was there in the formative years of my life and that’s how I’ll always think of him. Strong. Dark haired. With hair. Most of all, loving.

Thanks, Dad. You give me a lot to live up to.

— Richard

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