In celebration of father’s day, I want to acknowledge my father for some of what he has meant to me for 34 years. As a new dad, I realized what an incredible legacy his efforts of parenting over that time have meant to me and the tremendous love and effort that went into being my dad.
I want to acknowledge him for creating a culture of excellence and exploration. For teaching me to be a steward of my environment whether it is my house or the land around me, for being helpful and friendly and good and acting in service of people and having fun with his friends, for being a leader in the community and at work and in our family.
I want to acknowledge him for the regular men only activities he does and the different groups of male friends he maintains. I want to acknowledge him for his own growth as a person – for example, sometimes you will catch him wearing wild clothing and trying new things in new countries. Like that time we went tubing in Boulder and he flipped out of the tube and smashed his head on the rocks.
I tried to teach my dad to ride a scooter when he came to visit me in Bali, but he drove out of the parking lot and crashed on the street. So we started again and he crashed into a wall. So we had to stop the scooter lesson. It was confronting for me to see my own father getting hurt, but I love that he is willing to try things he has never done before and never stop learning.
After not being with my dad on Father’s Day for over a decade, one of the coolest things I got to experience in the last three years was spending time with my dad on Father’s Day out in the wilderness.
Two years ago we were in Colorado camping at 10,000 feet. Last year we were exploring the Redwood Forest in California. This year we were road cycling through the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia. It’s amazing to me to think that maybe one day my son will invite me to do something cool with him.
I love the conditions my dad created to support me. If I wanted to try something as a kid (speed skating, math, baseball pitching…), he would sign me up for lessons. When I started a podcast, he was the first subscriber and now that I’m writing a book, he preordered many copies. He sent me to college and Boy Scout High Adventure, and even came along as a trip leader.
He invites me to join him and his friends on bike rides when I am in town. I get to go to their parties and events. He lends me his toys and his tools and is never stingy. He supports other people as well – with encouragement and financial resources. He gives to charities and participates in his church community.
I also want to acknowledge that he created a culture in our family of regular reading and going to see live music and performances and museums and interesting exhibits and speakers. He gave Heidi a speaker for Christmas and we got him the same one because music is so important to him. He finds a way to connect with people through music and he finds a way to connect to people anywhere. And I am sure that has influenced me because I can turn around and talk to any random person sitting behind me in the restaurant.
He does a great job at making sure everybody is happy on trips and always set a great example as a partner for my mom. He takes her on solo trips when it’s been a while since they’ve had an adventure together. I loved seeing my dad kiss my mom first thing when he arrived home. I loved seeing him willing to pull over to read a historical marker or buy some honey when my mom yelled: “Stop Here!”
Most of all, I want to acknowledge my dad for showing up for me over and over again. At cross country meets, math contests, comedy shows, graduations, camping trips, speeches, bike races, science fairs, poetry contests, baseball games, traveling to different continents, and a million other times where he made me a priority.
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