Today is Father’s Day, and my family is meeting at my parents’ house for a barbeque.
As usual, my gift will be books. Both of my parents love to read, and my dad particularly enjoys history and science. My husband has been reading Bill Bryson’s nonfiction book At Home, and I picked this up at his suggestion. The second I grabbed on a whim; it’s Jeremy Rifkin’s The Hydrogen Economy. Say what you will about Rifkin – he isn’t commonly accused of being boring! So my dad will enjoy both.
And speaking of hydrogen, my dad has recently experienced a breakthrough with his hydrogen energy project. Yay, dad!
Growing up with my dad wasn’t always a piece of cake. He is someone a polite person would refer to as an eccentric gentleman. His well-groomed appearance belies his idiosynchratic personality. He has a sort of fascination for Albert Einstein, and frequently reminded me that Einstein sucked at math, as a sort of message to me that an imperfection may be irremediable in itself but one can pursue alternate options.
He availed himself of his own advice, as he is quite an imperfect person: he’s not particularly patient, his hearing is poor so he has increasing difficulties participating in conversations, and he’s a bit vain about his hair. But in important ways he’s been a good dad and a good friend. He helped my husband and I do some complicated projects in our house. He helped me out when I was quite sick – and depressed about it – some years ago. He’s done all of the goofy and fun things that a kid dreams a dad should do, like take us to baseball games, show us how pollywogs become frogs, demonstrate the messy and fun way to create a virtual volcano in the kitchen, played badminton with us in the backyard even though he’s not exactly (or even remotely) athletic.
I feel pretty fortunate that my dad is still with us, and still a part of my life.