Thursday, January 6, 2011
It wasn't always like this though. As a kid, I remember seeing him as my hero, he could never put a foot wrong. In fact, most of my childhood memories throw him in a shining light. As a child he was amazing, and I was definitely a daddy's girl.
When highschool hit I began to develop my own opinions about the world, and our relationship started to crumble. Bit by shining bit my dad's rockstar aura faded until I found myself disagreeing with pretty much everything he said. He drives me mad with his small-mindedness, and I think I scare the pants off him by being so liberal and open-minded. Often my mother has to step in and tear us apart before we rip each other to shreds.
Even with all the fighting, and the general frustration he often stirs in me - and I'm sure I in him - I love and respect my father very much. After his dad died when he was a kid, he helped run the family farm. He left school at 16 to get a mechanic apprenticeship, and eventually worked himself into machinery sales, working as the top sales manager for firms like Case, Hardy, and John Deer. He has never been paid overly well - earning less than the average teaching salary while often working 60-hour weeks, and on the road 80% of the time.
The photo above is of us the day I graduated from university. As crazy as I've made him with my seemingly endless studies, I knew he was proud of me that day, and I know he's still proud of me - even if I am once again in studentville. I'm thankful for that and appreciate that he supports me when he quite clearly thinks I'm nuts.
Along with mum, he's helped instill in me a sense of responsiblity and pride in myself, and a belief in my actions and opinions - even if he doesn't often agree with them. He's also helped me out a hell of a lot when I've been short on cash, had to move house, or needed a lift around the corner, or interstate. He doens't understand me too well - I'm pretty much another species as far as he's concerned - but he tries to help, and I know he means well.
Today (or yesterday, as it's now past midnight) was his birthday. He's now seventy-one, and looking mighty good for his age, I think. He reckons he's got another twenty in him at least.
So here's to my dad - Seventy-one and every bit the rockstar he's always been - personality and all.