It’s Father’s Day today, and I would like to take a moment to honor that very special person that I call Dad. I feel the need to do this so publicly this year since for me this is the year of writing, and he is very much the source of my love for the written word.
As far back as I can remember my dad has always read me stories. At first it was Dr. Seuss and Where the Wild Things Are, then as I grew older he read me books like Red Planet and The Hobbit. I remember when my brother was finally old enough to listen to the more grown up stories I was extremely jealous that I would have to share this magical time with him, but the joy on his face as he joined our explorations of all the fantasy worlds that waited for us on the book shelves made me realize that stories are meant to be shared. By the time I was a teenager we had story time at the dinner table with all five of my siblings and my mom, and the books we read were both new like Harry Potter and the Socerer’s Stone, and classics like The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
My dad also taught me that stories don’t just live inside books, they live in the hearts and minds of those clever enough, and creative enough to express them. He used to tell us bedtime stories about ogres, and trolls that lived inside the mountains, and a prince and five princesses who quiet closely resembled his children. The way he would describe us it was easy to believe we could conquer anything that befell us in dream land, and when the story was done we would beg him for just one more, and although he would protest that it was way past our bedtime, he almost always would relent, and tell us another story.
Even though my grades were abysmal, and I lacked focus, whenever I came to my dad to say, “This is what I want to do with my life,” he would stop what he was doing and turn to me and with one simple phrase he made me believe that anything was possible. “How can we make this happen?” With my dad it was never, “That’s a dumb idea,” or “You need to have a job that makes real money.” Instead it was the same thing every time from when I told him I wanted to be a poet, to when I asked him to help me get into ITT to study game design. I won’t deny that neither of those things worked out for me, but no matter how many times I go back to the drawing board, I know I am not in it alone, and my dad will always be there to help me “make it happen.”
Thank you Daddy, for everything you do, but especially for teaching me to dream big dreams, and for helping me to make them all come true.