The title is one I’ve got penciled in for a story about the settling of my fictional town White Creek, but as I sit back and reflect on this past Father’s Day it brings up other feelings. Growing up, we all want to be like our dads and when we reach our teen years, we want to be the total opposite of everything our dads represent. I felt this way for my whole teen existence. As a young boy, my father was everything when I got to spend time with him. As a teen, I rebelled and the ramifications of that rebellion are things I struggle with internally to this day.
I am the oldest of three children and during my youth, dad worked two jobs to make sure we had everything we needed. There were times I wished he was around more, but he still made sure he had time to coach our ball teams, lead our Scout groups, or dispense advise we ignored until later. He also blessed me with the love of classic rock like Eagles, Black Sabbath (I wore out his Vol.4 tape as a kid), and CCR among others. It wasn’t till I became a father I realized he was right about everything. I told him that too and I think it brought a certain satisfaction to hear me utter those humble words. Everything we’ve gone through only made me better in the end. Oh, don’t get me wrong, he can be a smart ass, but that’s where I get it from. I also got my work ethic from him. I hate leaving something unfinished at work. I bust my ass to make sure I always do what needs to be done and to do it right. I blame him for that too.
But, I see a pattern. I work tons of hours right now at the primary job and I work at the writing thing as my second job. Sometimes I might only have a day or two off a month, work twelve-hour days, and then try to write on top of it. Just like him, I make time to coach my sons’ teams, be their Scout leader, and try to make every game. I love to sit and play the X-Box with them, listen to them jabber on about a computer game, or play ball in the yard.
I hope when they grow up they realize that just like my dad, I did the best I could for them and I love them very much. Some of the things the boys are in has the added bonus of me spending more time with my dad. Sometimes while I wish it was in the past, I think I cherish these moments now more. We sit back, shoot-the-shit, and watch the boys do their thing. There is nothing I could ever do to repay him for everything he’s done for me and how he made me who I am.
I love him and I want him to be proud of me and how I eventually turned out. A beer with him now sounds good…