The Father of All Thanks
Father’s Day serves as a yearly reminder to all of us that we do in fact have a dad and that we probably owe that man for plenty more than just some genetic coding.
Kids are chronically unappreciative. They must really think that money grows on trees and socks wash themselves. I’m sure as a child I too was guilty of what has now become one of my pet peeves: ingratitude. Maybe that’s the reason I feel compelled to write this post and absolve myself of some of my past sins. I wasn’t a bad kid, unlike Jason I didn’t hotwire tractors and drive them into fences, but I’m completely certain that I didn’t show my parents the appreciation they deserved. I now remember with chagrin all the times my hardworking father spent his weekends laboring in the yard and my homework or plans kept me from offering him a hand. And those many occasions when he paid for my college textbooks without complaint and got little more than a hurried thanks out of me. Rachel of my past, I am ashamed to have once been you. I’m glad I’ve grown up a little since then.
With Father’s Day just last week I figured this was probably an opportune time to confess my failings as a daughter and acknowledge that I am indebted to my dad for far more than I can reckon. My dad has always had tremendous faith in his children. Not once did he doubt our capabilities. He was certain that we would all go to college and he was certain that we would succeed in our careers. He saw the scientist in me long before I did.
My dad taught me at an early age the value of being healthy and that exercise isn’t synonymous with torture. I started running with him when I was in elementary school and I always looked forward to our yearly backpacking trip up in the Uintas. While my dad can still run circles around me, that early focus on physical activity has led to me being active throughout my life, which is probably why I don’t weigh 400 pounds today.
I learned from my dad that persistence and perseverance are far more valuable than innate talent. Just because something isn’t easy doesn’t mean it’s impossible. I never concede defeat and I guess I can blame that stubbornness on my father. Thanks Dad, I can’t tell you how often that determination has come in handy even if it makes others want to strangle me on occasion.
I also have another dad besides my dad. My father-in-law Keith, though obviously not around when I was a little tike, has been a part of my life for over a dozen years now. You’ll never meet a guy happier to help out or easier to get along with. I’ve truly enjoyed having him in my family and appreciate his frequent assistance with our home projects. I owe him big for whatever part he played in raising a pretty terrific kid. Jason is a stellar husband and human being so thanks Keith for that.
I know these meager thanks don’t make up for years of thanklessness. I think parents never really get paid back for their investment in their children. I certainly don’t see a way to make things even with my folks but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t say thanks anyhow. So muchas gracias por todo mis padres! I am a fortunate girl and I hope something of what I have become makes you glad that you decided you wanted a little me all those years ago.