Dad and I - November 1963
If I had to use one word to describe my Dad, it would be "pusher."
No, not THAT kind of a pusher - as in drugs!!! Gosh, no!
I mean, "pusher" - in the sense that he was always, always, always pushing me to do something that I really didn't want to do.
All through school, he was the one pushing me to get good grades...and pushing me to take more and more Math classes, although I'd rather have boiled my tongue into a fine jelly and served it up bare-handed to hand and jelly eating sharks than take Math class. Push. Push. Push. I did it - took math all the way through school, to the point that I now somewhat love numbers and balancing checkbooks - and having an accounting job for many, many years at a major hospital here in town.
He was my softball coach for many, many years - and he'd push me to learn the complex strategy of the game. He insisted that I learn how to switch hit; he demanded that I learn how to slide when coming into a base; and he wisely pointed out that statistics are very important when managing a team. Push. Push. Push. I did it - to the point that I ended up having dreams of playing major league baseball - as a GIRL, no less. And our team won a few city championships in its day.
He declared at an early age that there would never be an argument - I WAS going to college. Period. Any daughter of his would have a good education - and I was to complete my four years of college before even thinking of getting married. Push. Push. Push. I did it - went through college and wisely held off getting engaged until my senior year - knowing dad would flip if I did it any sooner. The wedding was held a year after graduation - plenty of time to get that good job before settling down.
During college, he would engage me in early-morning debates....the topic didn't matter - it was normally about politics or current events - but he would demand that I hold my ground and argue my point logically and consistently, while he played devil's advocate and argue the other side. It would sometimes drive me NUTS - what he was arguing - but he pushed me to prove my point. Push. Push. Push. I now argue and debate with a stubbornness that could drive a saint insane - but I will hold my position until proven with irrefutable facts or evidence that I am wrong.
My dad is pretty awesome...he's a quiet, solid rock in the chaos that sometimes surrounds him with my energetic, dynamic family - he keeps us firmly grounded. He's a man of deep, quiet faith that loves deeply, as well...and is not afraid of showing that love by sending mushy cards for no reason.
I love my Dad.
Happy Father's Day, Dad.