Today is my father’s birthday. In honor of this I would like to review the things I am grateful for or that he taught me. This is not an exhaustive list by any means, since sometimes I am not aware of that which he taught me until I am using that skill.
He played cards with me very early on. I believe that I learned a great deal of my numbers and greater and less than concepts by playing War with him starting around age 2.
He tried to teach me to drive. I am grateful that he followed my lead when I went back in the house and told my mother that SHE was teaching me how to drive. But I do still hear his voice in my head when I am driving along a stretch of jersey barriers and he says “Concrete does not forgive” or when I am in a crazy parking lot and he says “Parking lots are the best place for an accident.”
He taught me how to catch a baseball, by watching the ball into the glove.
He taught me how to hit a baseball, by keeping my eye on the ball and following through.
He took me sailing a lot as a kid. I didn’t always appreciate the conditions he was willing to go out in, but I did and still do like sailing.
He bought me a canoe when I came home from camp raving about canoeing. However, he did NOT buy me a horse when I came home raving about horseback riding. I am still bitter about that. Oh sure a canoe is less expensive than a horse, what with the feeding and housing etc. of a horse, but WHATEVER.
He took me fishing. I still like fishing even if I have not done it in 453 years.
He shared with me the love of gardening and the satisfaction of growing food. But I am better at it – I weed after I plant, and I clean my vegetables after harvesting. He used to just plant and harvest, the details in between were, well, details.
He let me major in Psychology despite the fact he didn’t consider it a real science.
He taught me to ride a bike.
He threw me down snowy hills in one of those metal death traps they called a saucer and terrified me. I still don’t like sledding. I don’t really think this counts as gratefulness or a skill, but it is part of my psyche none the less.
He taught me the benefits of focusing on a task.
He was strong enough to recognize he had a problem and went into rehab to deal with it lo those many years ago. Thank you.
He did the best damn job he knew how being a father. And that is more than some people do. He continues to be a loving and supportive dad and grandfather and I TRULY appreciate that.
Happy Birthday George. Love you!!