Shannon's latest Makes Me Smile Monday theme is fathers. When I think of my childhood and spending time with my father, I think of us playing catch in the field near our house. He always pretended I was throwing the ball so hard and fast that it hurt his hand.
He would also swing a rope with a ball around the end while I batted it. My dad was more supportive with me for baseball than any other sport -- perhaps because he could participate. I know that's partly why I enjoyed baseball so much, and when situations changed and I was in a new city without my dad around, I lost some interest in baseball. I haven't thought about my loss of interest in baseball that way until just now, but I'm sure that was one reason.
As Shannon wrote, fathers are deeply influential figures in one's life. I inherited good literary genes from my father, and developed an interest in fiction partly from seeing his love of literature. We are similar in other ways too — my dad is a back-porch tinkerer, while I tinker with websites on the computer. He enjoys photography, and I was a yearbook photographer in high school. He likes to ride motorcycles, and so did I. We both have a religious gene or two.
I think my father has changed a bit as he entered retirement. He has become more generous, not only with money but also with time. He welcomes each opportunity to be included in family outings, such as Busch Gardens, and is more open about the challenges he faces. I'm glad to see that he remains in good health, and I hope I do too when I'm 71.
I always think my dad should have written and published more, but about exactly what I'm not sure. He sometimes has a strong opinion, and manages to articulate it with good reasoning. In the end, he seems to enjoy reading more than writing. When I entered my career, I wanted to focus on the writing more than reading.
This father's day my dad gave me a sand timer. It takes three minutes for the sand to fall. I think it would make a good blog timer, and I've already started to try writing blog posts within the three-minute time period (not this one). But I also think the timer is symbolic of my father's awareness of how short time is — how life can so quickly run out. We must enjoy the moments we can. In the photo above, my dad has a handful of seaweed, which he is about to put on his head to entertain his granddaughters.
Happy Father's Day Dad!
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