Admittedly, I am pretty bad at this discipline thing when it comes to writing. I love to do it, a gift I am most certain comes from my mother, but so often the thoughts in my head do not make it to paper. But I’m here again, writing. Something about having time to sit on the deck with a glass of wine is leaving me inspired tonight.
In church Sunday they played a video called, “You Got This” for Father’s Day. I was openly weeping by the end.
And dad, it didn’t help when you reached over and patted me on the leg. Just saying. I was a puddle.
I couldn’t explain to you why, but Father’s Day gets to me at my core. Writing a card to my dad left me in another puddle at my desk.
But if I had to guess, I would say it’s because Father’s Day brings up those feelings in me of “You Got This.” It was while watching this video that I made this mental note:
Thank you dad for never telling me I couldn’t do anything.
When I was a kid and I would wander out to the garage, he wouldn’t shoo me away. My dad has a talent for knowing a little bit about everything and knowing a little bit about how to fix it. It’s a high bar to live up to. But, he would hand me some scrap wood and a hammer and let me create whatever contraption I came up with. And he also stopped to explain what a tool was used for. He taught me the difference between a flat head and a phillips before I could walk. If he was gardening, there was always an extra shovel for me. If he and my brother went across the street to play ball, I always went too. Even if my hand-eye coordination never got any better.
He let me pursue my passions of dance which would also lead to a passion for art, theater, and song. He would wait for me outside the studio in his grey Isuzu trooper and ask how class went. He, without complaint, sat through every performance from age 3 on. He never told me the arts weren’t worth my time. When I told him I wanted to go to college for dance, I was terrified. Because until a a few years before, before I learned I hate math more than cottage cheese, I had wanted to be a pediatrician. But he told me, “I will always support you if you are doing something you love.”
And 6 years later, I stood on the steps of our house eavesdropping on him explaining to the roofer that his daughter was a dance/movement therapist and that he was proud. I know he still doesn’t fully understand it, but he’s always ready to tell people what I do. I remember just being out of grad school and being timid about answering the fated question, “what do you do?” and fully prepared to say that I was a counselor and be on my way….when he would quickly cut me off and encouraged me to explain it to people.
Most recently, I’ve begun sharing with those close to me that I’m feeling pulled towards mission work in a more permanent way. I know this makes him worry. Working 8:30-4, M-F is much more reliable. But he has yet to say, “you can’t do that.” And I know he won’t.
My dad leads with a quiet presence and a servant’s heart that makes me want to continue to grow and be the best version of myself. And his actions are always quietly reminding me, “you got this.” And him telling me this has become a mantra I find at my core wanting to instill it in others too.