As a child, I absolutely worshiped my father and assigned him superhero-like qualities. After all, he was the strongest, smartest, handsomest Daddy ever. He is also the man who made my sister and I bait our own hooks, tie our own shoes and change our own oil. He removed the training wheels from our bikes and the tires from our cars and said:
“When you figure out how to get them back on, you can go. I might not be around every time you get a flat tire, so you need to know this stuff.”
Later on, Daddy enrolled us in his Bubba Rae’s gun safety course, offering loads of ice cream to the first one to shoot the red out of the target. He also laughed when the recoil left us flat on our asses and refused to baby us over the bruise left by the shotgun stock. He believed that an entire wardrobe + shoes and accessories could be purchased with $10 but made certain we had the very best tire gauges, whet-rocks, tools and lunch money. He scoffed at the idea of never leaving home without your Mastercard and advised his daughters instead to carry money in their shoe and a knife in their purse.
Sounds crazy to you – but as a father, it was important for him to teach us all the things he thought would make us self-sufficient. He also taught us, by example, honesty, integrity, responsibility, determination, conservation, and humility: things which profoundly influenced our lives.
Now, I am grown with a child of my own. Part of me thinks Daddy could leap tall buildings if he put his mind to it. The rest of me knows such a feat would throw his back out.
Fortunately, Daddy has a whole new generation to adore him – and learn all about how liberals are evil and Chevys are oil-sucking pieces of shit.