He didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.
— Clarence Budington Kelland
I’ve had a hard life, but my hardships are nothing against the hardships that my father went through in order to get me to where I started.
— Bartrand Hubbard
My dad actually did tell me how to do it. He did both. He led by example and then told me how he led by example. I was pretty stubborn like that. I needed (and still do) the reinforcement. And I know that, while my mom was the obvious worrier, the one who was most vocal about all that I did – or didn’t do – that my dad probably often silently struggled to maintain his stoic composure when I was busy messing up, getting into trouble, crashing cars, staying out late, and sneaking out of the house. I have always taken the hard road. As I’ve gotten older, I have learned to at least look at and consider the easier road, and I have most definitely learned that 99% of the time, my dad is right. I’m not sure why I even left out that 1% since I can’t actually remember a time when he was wrong, but I just know there has to be one time where he didn’t get it spot on.
My dad is not cuddly. He’s not huggy or kissy. He’s not the dad that’s going to squeeze me extra tight or say mushy things. But he is the dad that I can cuddle. He’s a dad that I can hug and kiss. He lays down a soft bed for me to land on when I fall, and he certainly helps me up over and over and over again. His stoic stature and persona can melt into a weathered, tanned, and oh so familiar smile in seconds, and I know I’ve heard the words “I love you” escape his lips fairly often. But the thing about my dad is that he doesn’t need to hug and kiss me often or say “I love you”. He doesn’t need to be cuddly or cute or bubbly or gushy or mushy for me to know that he is the very best dad, the most perfect dad, that I could have ever been given. He’s taught me about life. He lets me be me. He gives advice when I ask. He taught me how to camp and fight and be tough. He taught me how to think smart and quick (although I’ve gone through some phases where I didn’t). He took me rock climbing and hiking. He taught me about bugs and snakes and how my car works.
Since I am an only child, I think that often I was my dad’s girl and boy. I used to be resentful of my rough edges…the ones that my mom is constantly trying to smooth out. But I’m really glad. I’m glad that my dad took the time to teach me, to play with me, go with me. I’m glad to know and have experienced the things that I have because of him. And I’m kind of glad I’m a little rough around the edges because it’s a part of me that will always be from him. I love you dad! Happy Father’s Day!