I’ve been without my dad for more than half of my life…
He died when I was in college but I only have to look as far as the end of the dock to remember some of the great things he gave me. He was an “all-or-nothing” kind of father.
When I was 4, he carried me to the end of the dock, said, “You’re going to swim today”, & threw me into the lake. When I came up he calmly told me to swim back to the dock…so I did. That was the beginning of my love affair with the water.
Years later I even taught some swimming myself…
When I was 5, he crafted a sort of water toboggan out of plywood, painted it maroon (I have no idea where that color came from!) & towed me around Morrison Lake behind a shiny green aluminum fishing boat powered by a 15 horse Evinrude. The following summer he replaced the toboggan with short red water skis & a larger red & white boat with a 75 horse Johnson!
The summer I was 7, he decided I should be skiing on one ski. After what must surely have been 1000 failed attempts at “dropping” a ski, he simply refused to give me the second ski & insisted that I just deep water start on one. It worked. As a result I spent hundreds of early summer mornings “skiing the glass”. How I wish I had a picture of that to show you! Nothing before or since equals that perfect combination of speed, strength, & grace. I hope everyone finds that at some point in their lives. The picture below is NOT me but I could do it once upon a time…I found this guy at http://www.waterskimag.com.
My 8th summer found me on top of a small red & white Sunfish sailboat. The echo I hear in my head is of my dad yelling at me to tighten the rope even as we tipped past the point of no return & got dumped into the lake, again. The result of that lesson was countless years racing an 18 foot Tequila Sunrise Hobie Cat named Cheap Thrills.
There are so many things my dad didn’t get to do…see me graduate from college, walk me down the aisle, share my teaching career, but when I think of how many ways I”ve always enjoyed life on the water, I know I’m one lucky girl.
Me & my dad with my first dog…a beagle named Micheal.
So to all the fathers everywhere, to all the mothers who are fathers, all the grandparents, aunts & uncles & friends who sometimes fill that role, you need to know that you are having a huge impact on a child’s life…& you are one lucky person!
Enjoy your day!
Me…I’m off to spend some time on the water…