Thursday, August 1, 2013

#150: Classic Dads: My Dad

“What’s a goober?” I ask as if Dad will answer the meaning of life.
“THAT’S a goober” Dad emphasizes with a point of the finger at the direction college tour guide.

My Dad is a big inspiration in my life. From his Dad-isms and expansion of vocabulary through words such as goober and old fogey, or his teaching me how to drive defensively (“You’re in a thousand tons of steel driving at above average speeds…have fun!”).

His love for hot dogs and weird condiments always weirded me out. But I was able to raise the bar by introducing him to a Chicago Dog. Dad raised me on strange breads and always beat me in sports. How convenient that a back injury caused him to retire after I almost beat him in basketball. I think he uses that also as a reason as to why he falls asleep in random places (IKEA is his favorite). 

Dad isn’t a golfer but instilled in me a love for baseball. Binoculars, scorecards, and fresh cut grass are the ultimate signs of summer. They’re also the ultimate sign of bonding. I still think that one of the balls I got at the ballpark was planted by him. But I am forever grateful for it. My Dad fulfilled childhood dreams by taking me to World Series games. There isn’t a baseball game I don’t watch, attend, nor read about that I don’t think of him. 

My Dad’s mustache was legendary. My permanent mustache is a result of his genes. At age 20, I saw my Dad for the first time without a mustache. He had to bribe me with a burrito to get in the car with him as I thought he was a stranger. And now while he is balding, he fluctuates his facial hair faster than I can grow mine out.

Although my Dad may be singing “My Girl” to my sisters, I am right behind him performing the slide out. Temptations, Marvin Gaye, and Motown pump through my veins because of him. His dance moves prove to me that Dads will always have more soul and swag than my generation. 

Lastly, Dad is a leader. He provides for my family and for others. His love for our family and other people is contagious. He uses his opportunities to offer opportunities to others. I always strive to help others because of how I’ve seen Dad lift other people around him. His imparted lessons, both directly and indirectly, inspire me to better myself.
I can only hope to be half the man he is when I am a Dad. So thank you Dad, for taking on all the characteristics of Dads, but also making them your own. 

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