Jun 21, 2009

Happy Dad's Day

I'm not in Houston with my old man but from my couch here in Austin let me tell you why Dad is A-OK by me.
  • He got me hooked on baseball hardcore when I was a kid. The other day I told Ross I used to not throw like a girl so much and he asked why I never played softball. The reason I never played softball is Dad let me play baseball with him and Kevin. When he told me I should start practicing with a softball so I could play I was peeved. Why did I have to use some special ball while Kevin got to use a baseball?! Besides, the softball was too big and I couldn't catch it well, my little hand wouldn't go around it. Even in elementary school, I had a wild feminist streak. Long story short I never played softball but Dad let me keep playing baseball with him and Kevin and started a long tradition of baseball fanaticism. In fact, I'm watching the Red Sox right now...
  • I got Friday surprises. Every Friday when I was a kid Dad brought home Friday surprises for me and Kevin. Most weeks it was something small like a bouncey ball or a candy bar. But two Fridays go down in the Friday hall of fame. 1) When he brought home a fort to build in our backyard and 2) When he brought home Boopie, the Lowe family mutt.
  • He paid me for my grades. I think this kinda irked Mom because she felt (and maybe rightfully) that we were expected to do well in school and didn't need pay. But I say you are expected to do well at your job too and you still get paid for that. Either way Dad told us that school was our job and if we did well, we'd make a little money. And did the man ever have a system. We got our report cards and sat down with him to figure out our pay. $2 for an A, $1 for a B, nada for a C, owed him for a D and no money at all if you got an F. AND then half of that money went into our college savings and the other half was our play money. Lessons learned from this genius act on Dad's part include 1) work hard and it pays off, literally, 2) you are expected to go to college and we're saving for it now and 3) you have responsibilities just like Mom and Dad, even if you are a kiddo.
  • Dad let me steal his Beatles 1 CD for years. I'm not even sure if he knows he let me steal it but I did and he never complained. I rocked out to Yellow Submarine and Eight Days a Week all through high school. I wish I knew where that CD was now...
  • And then he picked "All You Need Is Love" by the Beatles for our father-daughter dance at the wedding this year. Now tell me that's not perfect. I dare you. And speaking of father-daughter dances, my Dad always took me to the Girl Scout father-daughter dance. I wish I hadn't grown out of those so early.
  • Dad went back to school and got his degree. I can't even tell you how proud I was of him when he went back to school in 2001. It had been a few years...decades since he had gone to class but he decided it was time to go back. And he did it, with honors nonetheless.
  • We played hookey on Christmas Eve to go to a Texans game. It was totally unfair that he and I weren't at home to help Mom get ready for the big family Christmas dinner but it was a ton of fun to play hookey and run off to the Texans game with Dad and Uncle Bob.
  • He's always made sure a hurricane didn't sweep me up. I might have thought he was crazy sometimes but the fact remains, a number of tropical storms and hurricanes have hit little Seabrook and every member of my family remained dry and not swept away.
  • Finally, Dad and Mom set a pretty good example for me as to what a functioning marriage and family should look like. I find that the longer Ross and I live together and work out kinks, the more I appreciate it this. Dad's always treated Mom well and that's a great example for both Kevin and me as to how a successful romantic relationship goes. However my parents aren't perfect, thank goodness, and it makes me know its OK that Ross and I aren't perfect either. It's OK if we disagree every once in a while so long as we're both committed to figuring it out. People have quirks and we have to embrace them. I'm glad Dad and Mom are good eggs and that was the example I learned from. I think Ross appreciates it too (because ultimately it means I'm not too crazy and that has to be good for him).
Happy Dad's Day!

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