I’m lucky. My dad was/is pretty fantastic. When I look back at my childhood, I can only think of one time that I really felt let down by my dad.
I played lots of sports in high school. I hadn’t found fly fishing yet and there wasn’t much else to do in Dunsmuir. I was asked to play tennis by the tennis coach, who noticed I wasn’t playing baseball and I was tall and athletic. I played. I wasn’t good, but I played.
We were at a tournament in the small town of Etna and I was playing men’s doubles. My dad was in the stands (really, it was just one little stand). I was at the net. A ball was coming high, I jumped to try and smash it… my timing was off. The ball left the court… over the fence. It was not my finest moment.
“Home run!” I heard from the stands. It was my dad. I was pissed. I hardly talked to him the whole ride home.
Funny thing… I can now see that I would probably be the dad to say “Home Run!” He was trying to be funny, as I often try to diffuse tense situations with humor.
My dad was there just about every game I ever played. He missed 2 basketball games from the time I was in the 8th grade until my senior year in High School. Home games. Away games, some 3 hours away. He was there. My mom was usually there too, but this is Father’s Day. It is kind of amazing that he went to all those games for all those years.
He also taught me to fish. I had a rod in my hand at age 4 and he got me my first day of fly fishing guiding on the McCloud.
On the fishing trips we’ve had we’ve talked about deep subjects… God, life, love. Good, good times.
My dad has turned into a great grandfather too, which shouldn’t have come as a surprise, but it still amazes me how much he loves his little granddaughter.
So… here’s to Dad. I hope you all either had one just as fantastic, or are working hard to be that kind of dad yourselves… I know I am.