Saturday, June 21, 2014

Wahoo! I'm Famous!

My dad and my sister were doing an extensive Google Search for something related to my blog, and they stumbled on this website: Check It Out If You Want To

Basically, the website says that my blog has a net worth of almost $780 U.S. dollars, and it even tells you the ranking of all blogs in the U.S.  Mine comes in just above 7 millionth place.

That's all I really have to say.  I thought it was hilarious

a. that they have a website to tell you these things
b. that my blog is even on there
c. that it has worth!
d. 6, 913, 000 blogs are better than mine, but countless blogs are below mine!

booyah!!!

So, in other news, have a great day, and I hope you're enjoying your summer.

I know we are!


Sunday, June 8, 2014

Daddy

I've been thinking about my dad a lot the past few months.  The weather turned warm, and with that the lawn needs mowing.  Mowing the lawn inevitably makes me think of my dad.  My love of flowers and gardening comes from my mom, but my appreciation for a well mowed lawn comes from my dad. 

Then a few months ago I found an old note I had written when I was around seven.  I don't know why it was worth writing down and keeping for twenty three years, but I laughed so hard when I found it that I suppose it was.  I noted that we were at church, and my father took me outside to turn the lights off on the car because he had forgotten but he told everyone he was taking me to the bathroom.

It just seems so typical of the relationship with my father.  That he would take me, that he would pretend I had to use the bathroom, that I would make a note of it, thinking perhaps I could get him in trouble?

As I've been thinking about my daddy, I've been thinking about him, and myself, and perhaps people in general: who we are now, who we wanted to be, and who we have become.  Some people will tell you that people can't change.  I suppose it may be true to say that some people don't change, but it is not because they can't.  People can and do change.

I remember walking home from a birthday party with my dad who had come to get me when it was over.  I was ten, and the idea of responsibility had suddenly started occurring to me.  I had begun to realize that I was going to grow up, and when I did I was going to be expected to do things, important things, real life things.  It scared me dizzy - I didn't want to do it, but I knew I had no choice in the matter.  I don't remember anything specific we talked about that night.  What I remember is the feeling of talking to my dad about something that scared me and seemed important to me - a fact which, in itself, made me feel already more grown up than I thought I was.

In high school I was in some sports (soccer, softball, track) and clubs (Spanish, Japanese) and activities (pep band, drama), and I was never very good at all at any of them.  I was mediocre at best, and worst on the team at worst.  But I had fun, and my father came to every single game or event.  Again, perhaps my memory isn't perfect, and maybe he didn't come to every single thing.  But what I remember is that he did come to every event, even the events in other towns where he had to drive hours to get there.  It is hard to express how that made me feel - I knew my father wasn't coming to see me win, or excel, or make him proud because I was so athletically gifted that it would be a pride to watch me perform.  I knew he could only be coming because he wanted to see me.  I managed to keep a pretty good attitude about my lack of prowess, and in my youthful pride I thought it was because I was so well adjusted that it didn't matter to me if I was a superstar or not.  I look back now though, and I wonder if I was so well adjusted, and knew that my worth didn't depend on my winning the two mile race or not, because it didn't matter to my dad.  He came to see me possibly win, or to just lose and lose again.

My dad helped me learn to see people.  Growing up I was terrified of just about everything, but mostly I was afraid of other people.  I was afraid of them looking at me, talking to me, being too close to me.  I don't exactly understand why or what I was so afraid of, but it was very real and very unpleasant to be around any but family.  When we lived in Brasil I began to be forced out of it, but there were still times when I would sort of crawl back inside myself and try to hide from the world.  We had been at some gathering or party, and my dad chastised me a little for the way I had treated someone else.  For the first time in my life, I understood that maybe, just maybe other people were scared too.  Maybe they felt the same way inside that I did.  And maybe they didn't, but shouldn't I treat all people more gently just in case they did?  That thought slowly helped me learn how to talk to people, how to look them in the eye, how to smile.  I have friends now, all because of some long forgotten lecture from my dad about being nicer to someone.

Sometimes when I worry about what to say to my girls to help them learn, or behave better, or grow up to be good people, I think about my dad.  I think about those times when he was there, the times when he told me things that made a difference, but I don't remember the words anymore.  I tell myself that maybe it doesn't matter so much which words we use exactly, but just that we use them.  That we are there, every day telling our kids and showing our kids how much we love them, and how much potential we see in them.

Thanks, Daddy.