Since it’s Father’s Day I think it’s fitting to list a few things that I am today because of my dad:
1. A deeply stubborn, obstinate woman
I was raised in a house where one did not ask for directions, reading the instructions was unnecessary, and “can’t” meant I won’t or I don’t want to. Admittedly stubbornness is not one of my better qualities, however it has its uses. I can think of many times when I could have and in fact probably should have given up on something but because I’m Lou’s kid I refused to and it actually paid off.
If we were a Wizarding family that attended Hogwarts I would’ve undoubtedly followed my father into Gryffindor. I was taught to swim in the Gulf of Mexico in Florida by my dad telling me to move my arms and kick my legs while he supported me and then he let go without telling me. I sank a little and I got water up my nose which I hated and yes it was scary, but the only time we can be brave is when we’re scared. What he didn’t realize was that he created a monster; a little monster who took off running and jumped in the deep end of a hotel pool somewhere in South Carolina because he took the fear away. I figured I survived the Gulf how hard could this be? What do you want? I was like four. Now I’m a grown woman who takes no sh*t and is unafraid to speak truth to power.
3. A bit more safety conscious around power tools and cars on ramps
My father had my stepsister-in-law’s car on ramps in the driveway. He put a smaller ramp behind the rear tire to keep it in place but neglected to apply the parking brake. Our driveway had a natural incline. When you witness your dad chasing a car down the driveway, you become aware of the importance of always applying the parking brake. He also taught me the importance of turning off the riding mower before getting off of it by rolling our riding mower into his own truck and to be aware of where the hose is in relation to the engine when operating a power washer by creating an accidental geyser in the backyard.
4. A rescue volunteer
I was raised around animals and I have every reason to believe that my dad did that on purpose. Kids who grow up taking care of animals are more responsible and less selfish than kids who don’t. I was also raised near a state forest and had a healthy respect for wildlife and conservation. I never stopped loving animals and wanting to help them. As a result, several wildlife conservation charities like WWF and Tiger Time have benefited and I didn’t choose the rescue life. The rescue life chose me.
5. A fan of Star Wars
My father sat me down in front of the TV and put on the Star Wars trilogy when I was just five years old. Honestly he was probably sick of watching the Disney princess movies so he introduced me to a woman who would become one of my childhood heroes. Leia Organa was the princess who picked up a blaster, rolled up her sleeves and handled her business. Then there was Yoda, often underestimated due to his size but still capable of lifting a freakin’ X-wing. Because of Star Wars I’m nobody’s damsel in distress and I refuse to let a weight class define me.