Happy (belated) Father’s Day guys! I know that this is two weeks late…whoops. If you’d like, you can just skip the first two sentences of this post and pretend that this was posted on time. Father’s Day, a day to celebrate fathers. Props to whoever came up with it. I mean, it’s a pretty good idea right? Though I’m sure that they would appreciate it if you celebrated them more than just on their designated day. (hint, hint). Now, I’m about to tell you something that may or may not shock you. Ready? Okay…here goes: I have a father. Shocking isn’t it? But what you guys may not know is how awesome my Dad actually is. My childhood is dotted all over with nice memories of Dad. He’s the one who would take my brother and I to school in the mornings and sing while trying to usher us into the backseat of the car. He’s the one who taught me how to blow bubbles with my gum as well as participate in snowball fights (the few times it snowed significantly).
I remember one summer in particular when I was younger (I think I was around 8 or 9) and we were at the pool, Dad would bend his knees a little and let us stand on his thighs and launch us into the air. I’m sure it didn’t do anything good for his knees but I remember loving that and asking to go again and again. Dad would also throw the ball (one of those small, squishy ones that soaks up water) with us at the pool. Or playing catch with Jared and I in the backyard with a baseball. I even got my own left-handed glove when Jared played a season or two of baseball.
And then there are those father-daughter moments that are so precious. Like the beach walks looking for seashells. I remember one in particular. It was summer and we were visiting family in Culver. I was in middle school and Dad and I had taken the paddleboat out on the lake. I don’t remember much of the conversation except that Dad mentioned how happy/proud he was that Jared (my brother) and I get along so well, better than some of our friends or cousins that are also close in age. Then there was also the little walk that Dad and I took around campus when he and Mom moved me in freshman year.
Dad has also always been supportive of our interests whether it be in music or sports. Jared has played soccer practically since he was able to walk and I swam on and off through elementary and high school. We both played tennis for a few years and Dad would play with us in the summer. It was rare that he missed a game or a meet. He also made it to most of our band performances–marching band, concert, jazz ensemble. That only became a bit more difficult in high school because in the spring the first round or two of playoffs for State would coincide with the spring performance for concert band or jazz. Why they usually ended up on the same nights, I haven’t a clue but when that happened, Mom and Dad usually divided and conquered.
One thing that I’ve always appreciated about Dad is how he’s always encouraged Jared and I to go after what we want. Whether that was about trying out for sports or region band or picking a college. When I was going through the college-picking process, he told me not to worry about anything and to just look at whatever schools I wanted and not to take distance, price, etc. into the equation. Mom sort of said the same but she was more concerned with how we were going to pay for school which was–and still is–a valid point but I just remember Dad saying don’t worry about money or anything and that I should apply where I want and then if I get in we’d go from there. And that’s kind of what happened.
While my Dad might not necessarily always be as vocal as Mom, he’s always been there for Jared and I and supported us in whatever it was we wanted to do and to that I say:
Dad, thanks for everything. For your continuous support and your faith that I can do anything I’d like as long as I put my mind to it. You and Mom have done so much and given me so much. I meant it when I gave you guys your gift for mother/father’s day. Without you and Mom I wouldn’t have had the capability or the courage to do everything that I’ve done, this past year especially. I was scared shitless getting on that plane to go to France by myself. I hope that I can continue to make you proud. Love you. Happy (belated) Father’s Day.
PS– Dad’s not the only one who’s proud. I think I can speak for the family when I say that we’re all proud of Dad and Luigi (a colleague and friend of the family) for the latest article that they, in collaboration with a few other scientists, have published in regards to a major breakthrough in autism cells. They discovered that autism cells have a decreased metabolism of tryptophan (an amino acid). They are hoping that this discovery might lead to a possible treatment of certain autism spectrum disorders in the future. For those interested, here’s two short news clips as well as a link to the article.