Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day

Happy Father's Day!

I don't think any fathers read this blog, but still.  It's a wonderful day to celebrate and honor our Dads.  If you want to read my post about Mother's Day and my Ma, go here.

I think about a lot of the things my dearest Daddio has taught me, and my head instantly fills with advice, lessons, motivation, perspectives and wisdom.  He is the smartest man I know.  Period.  I like to think I get my "positive outlook" on life from him, because that is how he operates - positively.  

Daddio and I in Hawaii (2008)

Daddio and Bubba getting ready for the wedding
My Dad was quite the stud athlete growing up and through high school.  I know he wanted to instill sports and the disciplines associated with it in me and my siblings.  He did.  

Dad "Quarterbacked" CK to the State title in 1969
I started playing sports at the ripe age of four - soccer in the fall and tee-ball in the spring.  My Dad was always right there in the action with me, and it stayed that way until I graduated from college at 22 and finally ended my softball career.

Mom, Dad and me on Senior Day
My Dad and I didn't always have the smooth and great relationship we have today, and it was because of sports that our relationship became turbulentI had natural ability, and like most parents, my Dad wanted to turn my natural abilities into something special.

We joke about it now - the time we spent in the backyard pitching, hitting, taking ground balls, practicing free throws and dribbling a basketball around cones, dribbling soccer balls around laundry detergent buckets in the front yard, and math time together at the dinner table.... But it wasn't so funny to me back then.  I think I mostly thought he was slowly trying to torture me.  He pushed me so hard, and at the time I just wanted to be a kid.  Looking back I would not have changed a thing, because he made me into the athlete I was, and to the positive, hard working adult that I am now. 

I know how to work for the things I want, and know how good it feels to get what I deserve because I have earned it.

Some highlights I can vividly recall from our times together are:

-A video of me around the age of five, hitting off the tee.  The tee was set up across the street and my Dad would field the balls from the gravel outside my house.  The video shows us practicing together and at one point I say, "You're getting your exercise today, huh Dad?"

-Pitching to my Dad in the backyard, and him constantly telling me, "Oh, only 50 more" when I would ask, "How many left, Dad??"  By the time I was 15 or 16, I wised up and started keeping my own count.  Not that it mattered - we were done when he said so.

-If he thought I was being lazy (which may have been true after 200 pitches), he would tell me how slow I was pitching; that my little sister could throw harder than me and in fact - he didn't even need a glove to catch my pitches at all!  Well, me being his smart-ass daughter - that just revved me up (nice work, Daddio).  So I would throw the ball into his bare hands as abosolutely-hard as I could.  That'll teach him.

-Walking into a gymnasium with the pitching bucket, gloves and a bat, and a basketball (just to make sure we had all my athletic bases covered).  The other gym-goers probably thought, "What the world are these people doing with all that sports equipment??  I'm staying out of that gym."  

-Anytime I would say, "God!" in frustration.  His response was a simple, "God can't help you right now."  Thanks a lot for pointing that out, Dad.

-Me coming home in the summers from college and I was the one asking him to go outside.

Trust me, I could go on and on and on with stories of my Dad and I.  My poor Mom was usually right in the middle of our skirmishes - which were frequent.  Our relationship transformation happened around the time I was 17 or 18, when he realized he may be just a little overbearing.  It's been awesome and wonderful ever since.  The tables turned when I got to college, and I finally realized that all my hard work had paid off - I just needed to keep working harder.  Like I said, I wouldn't change most of it because it made me who I am, and gave the opportunities it did.  Without my Dad's persistence, I would not have ultimately met Ry-Guy.

So, thanks for everything, Daddio.  You are one-in-a-million.  Or maybe a billion.

I feel really fortunate to also have a wonderful father-in-law.  I have loved seeing Ryan and Danny's relationship grow and develop over the last three years, especially since Ryan moved to Washington.  My father-in-law knows me well.  Anytime we are visiting them, he stocks the house with Sugarfree Red Bull and bagels. What. A. Guy!!

Danny and Ryan

Father and Daughter-in-law

Take Luck
and Hug a Dad today,

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