Because of My Dad

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.

2. Brave

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.

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Harry Potter & the Cursed Child

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House pride!

Last weekend I had the pleasure and privilege of seeing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway. The experience was beyond amazing.

Every single technical aspect was absolutely perfect. There was a turntable in the middle of the stage. The set changes were perfectly choreographed with crew in full costume. There were Dementors flying over the audience. There was a tank of water under the stage for the scene that takes place in the Black Lake. I don’t think there were any grindylows, merpeople, or giant squids, but it added to the realism of the scene. The creativity of the lighting and sound design shined the brightest during each of the time travel scenes. Without giving too much away, I don’t think you could get a better ripple effect without a Tardis.

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Ginny’s Patronus

Then there was the acting. The original Harry and Hermione came from London to Broadway, but Poppy Miller really stole the show as Ginny Potter. There is a scene where she blows her stack on Draco Malfoy and my immediate thought was “That is Molly Weasley’s daughter.”

After only a month on Broadway Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has been nominated for 10 Tony Awards. It’s not just a play. It’s an experience. Yes, the tickets are expensive and yes, it’s done in two parts each of which runs two and a half hours but I would absolutely do it again.