Tuesday, September 15, 2015

My Father's Son

There are a few virtues that I am often attributed. Teachers tell me that I am a hard working student. Friends tell me that I am a caring person. Family tell me that I know how to treat others; however, it would be wrong of me to smile and say that I have worked hard to be the man I am today. I know that I am not the one worthy of praise. I just learned it from my dad.
When most people imagine a great man, they think of the traditional hero. They think of a man who fought against oppression, or who made a great invention, or someone who had a major and widespread impact on the world in some way. Those are not the only great men this world knows, to acknowledge only those already given a great amount of attention, would be to disregard men who work equally as hard, but have a different calling. In the same way that George Bailey was an unsung hero, my dad makes the world around himself a better place every day.
My father works hard. Like, really hard. He gets up at 5 every morning so he can drive a half hour to work and the work until 3. Why does he want to get off so early? It's because for a good portion of the year, he's also a coach. Every fall and winter my dad coaches two basketball teams, one for my brother and one for my sister. Every spring and summer he runs the Sturgis softball program. What does he do after he's done with that for the night? He's the secretary of Whitewood's Volunteer Fire Department. All of that in addition to being the father of five children.
While he is more than proficient at everything he puts into his life, I would argue my father is the most adept at being a father. One of the essential duties of being a father is creating a good mold for children to follow in. My father is a good person, and I would be lucky to be half the man he is.
He isn't obligated to try as much as he used to. I'm 19 years old, and out of his house. If he wanted to, my dad could cut off all support to me, Would anyone look down on him for trying to get me to be more self-reliant? That's not him. Every week since I've been at Mines, he has taken me out to lunch to talk with me. We don't talk about just trivial matters, he actually wants to help me. My dad truly wants to know how I am doing.
I know I will always have someone steady as granite to support me, but he is more than that to me. The further into life I go, the more confused I am about how everything is supposed to be; yet, I do have the solace of a template. I know that if I can fill the majority of my dads metaphorical shoes (I'm a couple actual sizes bigger) I will be a good man, the son of a great.