To my dad, life is like a math book. It is filled with problems, but that’s okay, because each problem has a solution.
My Dad is a teacher. When people say, “I don’t know how to solve these problems,” he likes to sit down and help solve them. This applies to both math problems and life problems.
When I was, oh, I don’t know, thirteen maybe, I played a childish and mean prank on a fellow classmate. The girl in questions loved horses, and had “I love horses” written all over her desk, on her goal chart, star chart, and on random slips of paper sticky-tacked to the divider. One day, I crossed out the word “love” on all of those papers and wrote “hate” there instead.
I got an automatic detention.
My punishment wasn’t so bad. I just had to stay after school ten minutes. It was kind of embarrassing to get a detention in front of my peer group, but not awful. The hard part, the part that had me squirming in my seat, sweating like a pig, was the fact that my parents had to sign my detention slip.
They had to know what I had done. I had to tell them.
I sat down with my parents, fear oozing out of every pore, and told them what had happened. I had done something mean and stupid. I was sorry. Now this girl thought I was a mean person. I felt guilty.
And my dad, in essence, said, “well how can we fix this? What if you made that girl something nice, with horses on it, and said you were sorry?”
I think it was then that it struck me that it didn’t matter how horrible my failing was, if I told my Dad about it, in full repentance, he would say, “okay. How can we fix this?”
That’s just the kind of guy my dad is. No panic, just solutions.
My dad is one of the least secretive people I know. What you see is what you get. There were always things about my dad, very crucial things to a daughter, that I just knew.
- My dad loved me.
- My dad enjoyed spending time with me.
- My dad thought I was beautiful.
- My dad thought I was talented.
- My dad loved God more than anything.
- My dad loved my mom more than anything besides God.
- My dad loved my siblings and I more than anything besides God and my mom.
- My dad wanted what was best for me.
- My dad trusted me.
- My dad loved me.
Even when I was angry, even when I thought he was being mean or ridiculous or whatnot, I never doubted these things. I don’t know that he said them all the time, they were just there, like the color of his shirt, for everyone to see.
Where would I be if it weren’t for my dad? It was my dad who taught me how to handle money. It was my dad who taught me that learning is always worth it, even if it is hard. It was my dad who taught me that it is important to work hard, not to become rich, but in order to help people.
My dad is a teacher.
The best teacher I’ve ever had.
The teacher I love most in the world.