With Father’s Day this weekend, I wanted to comment on the kind of relationship I’ve developed with my dad over the past year as I have become my own man and a professional.
I’m going to be completely honest, my dad and I never really talked much outside of my brief visits home before this year. However, with our concerns of weight gain, he told me that if I ever wanted to go on walks that I was free to call him and we would just walk and talk.
At the beginning of this year, I finally took him up on that and eventually got to the point of talking for several hours a week. It’s brought us to the closest we have ever been.
Let me just say my dad is one of my idols and while it may be cliche, if I turn out to be half the man he is I will say I’ve lived my life well. He’s always been a hard worker, a value he instilled in me pretty early on. As a mechanic, he often worked long hours and I really didn’t get to see him much when I was young. However, he still did the best he could to make it to all of my extracurricular activities while I was in school.
Through conversations we’ve had, which largely revolve around what’s going on in our respective lives and food, I learned my dad really didn’t know how to relate to me when I was young. Thinking back, we were polar opposites. I enjoyed staying inside and playing video games. He enjoyed being outdoors and hunting, or fixing a wide variety of things around the property. However, we both did have one thing in common: literature.
My dad always encouraged me to read from a very young age. By the time I was in second grade, I was already reading short fantasy novels for fifth graders. Going into middle school, he and my mom agreed that I needed more challenging material, and because we had a connection to fantasy in common, he started me on “The Wheel of Time” series. I’ll admit I never did finish all of them, but we had such great discussions once I would finish a book. Going into high school, he allowed me to borrow from his collection of Stephen King novels, including classics such as “It,” “‘Salem’s Lot” and “Firestarter.” Being a major factor in getting me to read at an early age really helped me decide I wanted to be a writer when I was older, and while I may not be doing exactly what I wanted, reading is still a passion of mine, which I’m currently rediscovering.
I am truly grateful to have the relationship I do with my dad. I know that no matter what, he will be there to support me in my career and personal endeavors. I can never thank him enough for helping mold me into the person I am today, but I hope this column helps in some way.
Andrew is a staff writer for the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-847-4487.