It's Dad's Turn: Happy Father's Day, Pops!

When I began collecting ideas and thoughts to write this, I started to recall memories that exemplified my Dad's varied, sometimes conflicting, personality traits and tendencies.  As I tried to mentally organize anecdotes, and ideas, it hit me: my dad is kinda hard to describe.  I truly don't know why that surprised me.  I've had a lifetime of trying to "de-brief" people on meeting my dad only for any explanation to end in: "Well... uhh... you'll see when you meet him". 

Rather than try (in vain) to explain my unexplainable Dad, I present a small snippet of my favorite memories.  I can only hope that it paints an accurate picture of how amazing I think he is.  
Napping like a boss.  My dad wears a "Rude Dog" shirt while napping with his toddler. 
My Dad is an excellent teacher.  Perhaps one of his best qualities.  Of course, over my lifetime, my dad has taught me an innumerable amount of things on just as many topics.  When I was about 6 years old, my dad took me to the bank and I sat and listened as he opened a savings account for me.  He explained what saving money meant and why it was important to do so.  For this to make sense to a 6 year old, my Dad said things like: "...that pink boombox you saw the other day.  It costs more money than you have right now, but if we put some money aside every week into a savings account, soon you'll be able to buy it!" He explained what interest was and how to figure out a time frame for saving for a large purchase.  I was an active participant in acquiring, saving and spending the money needed for that pink boombox.  Such a simple thing.  So many lessons.  Good one, Dad. 
A usual silly moment with Dad
Essentially, the basis of my Dad's method of interacting with the rest of humanity rests in the idea of giving everyone the benefit of assuming they are good, truthful people.  From there, people will either continue to gain your trust and love, or, they won't.  My dad has never been vague about the consequences of violating his trust.  I credit his blunt, black and white communication about consequences for getting me through my teenage and college years successfully and unscathed.  Raising a teenager in this philosophy sounds like a frightening proposition to me - but my Dad stuck to it.  He did things like lobby my mom to allow me to get my nose pierced when I was 15.  What was he thinking?!  He was thinking that he wanted to reinforce my positive behavior.  I was a good student, never had so much as a detention and didn't need to be asked to do my homework.  At that moment, getting my nose pierced was what I wanted the most in the whole world.  With that reward my Dad taught me that hard work and good choices pay off big.  It left me with the unspoken idea that poor choices in the future, would have consequences as negative as this reward was positive.  He did the impossible; he made a teenager understand consequences. 

This picture explains a lot about me.  On Dad's dirt bike (the Harley was in the garage) in a dress and saddle shoes on my first day of Kindergarten.
(An aside: My dad again persuaded my mom to allow me to get my tongue pierced at 17.  Seriously, Dad?  That same guy tried his hardest to change my mind about getting a tattoo when I turned 18 - and each time since.  See what I mean about conflicting tendencies?)

The unwavering support my Dad offers for each endevour I undertake is mind blowing.  He invests himself so wholly into my interests so he can offer useful advise or opinions.  I'd be a liar if I said that I am always eager to hear his opinions, but knowing that he loves me so much that he spends his time on things that I am interested in has always boosted my confidence and resolve.  From hocking Girl Scout cookies, to building me a dark room, to giving me the wedding of my dreams (and an un-listable amount of other things) his unshakable belief in me and my passions is at the core of who I am.
Right before our walk down the aisle.
 I am so full of gratitude for the person that my Dad is.  The good, the flawed, the strengths and weaknesses make him the Dad that I know and love deeply.  I wouldn't trade him for the world.