Father’s Day

Dad, I need to say thanks for some things:
you taught me to throw a baseball,
you taught me the hook shot,
you taught me to ride a motorcycle,
you taught me to shoot a gun,
you taught me to polish shoes,
you made me learn to change the oil and change a tire,
you taught me that chivalry isn’t dead yet,
you taught me that if you wear something with confidence, it never goes out of style (those plaid pants though),
you gave me a love for literature (although hearing “Foxe’s Book of Martyrs” at six years old is still seared in my brain),
you pushed, nay, demanded that I write (all my awards and scholarships, I owe to you),
you took me out in nature and acted like it was completely normal when I was a hundred feet up in a tree,
you held the ladder that time I grabbed a live wire, and–while I stared at the third degree electrical burns on my hands–calmly looked up and asked, “you okay?”
the first time a girl gave me her number you said “good job. you gonna call her?” then walked off,
you took my brothers and me on late night runs into town when you just had to have some pizza,
you cooked up burgers at midnight (if I die ten years early, it will have been worth every greasy minute).

You were the first person to make me stand up and perform,
you demanded excellence,
you didn’t complain,
and I know it’s been rocky,
and we’ve butted heads,
but things are better now, and I’m glad–
I’m glad that on this crazy ride of a life,
I get to call you Dad.