My last final is today. I had to write a paper on the importance of fathers in the raising of children, and I have to meet with my teacher so she can read it, give me a grade, and give me my final grade. It was a really fun paper to write. I have a lot of great fatherly examples in my life to draw from, so I got to collect my thoughts on everything I have seen and what I want to do myself.
The paper asked that we go through our own father specifically and evaluate our upbringing, what we wanted to do the same, what we didn't, and the more I thought about it, there aren't a lot of things I'd change about my dad. The first that comes to mind whenever I think about him is that he was at EVERYTHING I did. Every game, recital, competition, and even a lot of practices (even when he wasn't the coach). I had some boring funtivities, Junior High Choir recitals, T-Ball games, and ballroom anything. He admits things got boring, but he was always there to cheer me on. I could always count on seeing "The Nook of the North" standing at the top of the bleachers with his arms folded (even when something cool happened) at every single hockey game. My dad was always right there. Always.
Even if this was the only thing he did it would probably be enough. But he did more. He talked to me. Sometimes we ended up arguing more than talking, but he talked to me anyway. He talked to me about drugs, and girls, and sex, and growing up, and religion, and politics, and anything I'd talk to him about. He was there when I got home from nights dragging state to ask how things went, if we met anyone, and if anything interesting happened. He was seldom judgemental about how we spent our evening. He laughed when I told him about how I had told off a thirty something year old for sleeping with someone and not wanting to see her again (this happened after the guy paid me forty bucks to leave a message on his answering machine, pretending I was the owner of the house and he was my paid hand. I kid you not).
He did more though. He pushed me to do better at everything. He went to parent teacher conferences to hear that I was a good student, but that I talked too much (which he would chastise me for. Every PTC). He took me to the ice rink and had me stop at every line and dot, on both edges, on both feet, going backwards and forwards. I wasn't a very good skater, but wouldn't have been half as good without my dad. He even paid me twenty bucks once to talk to a girl I thought was cute, which happened to be someone from my high school who knew me, but who I didn't know... that was awesome.
"Hey." To the girl as she climbs in a van with her six siblings.
"Uh... just thought I'd say hi." I honestly don't know what I said after that. This is my best guess.
Either way, this is getting lengthy. I guess I'm just trying to say that my dad rocked hard. He remembered a little about being a teenager and helped me as much as he could. Thanks Dad.