My dad is the smartest man I know, and I know a lot of men. Wait. That makes me sound like a sluzza. Um. That’s not what I meant. I mean I just know a lot of male humans. In life. Generally. Anyway. My dad.
Growing up, my family was not rich in dollar signs, but we were rich in adventures. This one time, Dad took me and my brother on an adventure to the snow. The morning we were meant to climb Mount Tongariro, the cloud was so low we could barely see the mountains. I did my best to convince Dad that if we went out in that weather, we’d all die. Dad was all like YOLO KIDS, before YOLO had even been invented. See? Visionary. We caught the bus that would take us to the beginning of the track, alongside a bunch of other crazy people I was convinced we’d die huddled against in some ice cave somewhere. How old would I have been? Maybe 16? I don’t even know now. We clambered up the Devil’s Staircase (apt name; the devil himself invented that sucker), and made it to the top which was shrouded in cloud. Dad was all like, “Let’s go for an explore! We don’t need a track!” and I was all like, “If Girl Guides has ever taught me anything, it’s never to stray from the track!” and he was all like, “YOLO KIDS!” So we ventured off the track and had an explore and stomped around in some snow (and realised there wasn’t enough to make an ice cave even if we wanted to), and generally had a grand old time. By the time we got back to our backpackers, we were exhausted yet elated. And also a little bit relieved that we hadn’t needed to make that ice cave after all.
My dad has always believed in me. When I decided to take voluntary redundancy from my good job in telly what seems like a billion years ago, he told me to follow my heart. I’m almost 100% certain he was thinking WHAT ARE YOU DOING, YOU BLEEDIN’ EEJIT but he didn’t show it, and he certainly didn’t say it. When I decided to quit my good job in marketing and set up my own business however many years after that, he simply raised his glass and said, “Cheers”.
My dad hasn’t always believed in himself, though. He’s hard on himself. He has some regrets, some ups, some downs. But my dad is my hero. He’s a good man. A kind man. A generous man. He can do anything. I believe in him. And if I can be half the man he is when I grow up (in a woman’s body, though, because I’m not a man, I’m a woman), I’ll be a happy man/woman. Or something.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad. I love you.