In honor of my dad on this here father’s day, I’ve spent the day doing stuff he loves...
Like making granola
Given that we’ve been away for a couple of weeks, I did spend a huge chunk of my day cleaning, which is one of his favorite activities.
And talking to people.
This is, hands down, my dad’s all time favorite pastime. For those of you who don’t know him, let me clarify. He’s not a Chatty Cathy or anything, I mean he doesn’t talk just to hear his own voice. He likes engaging people, usually strangers. Yeah, he really likes talking to people he doesn’t know. Going to a restaurant with him means that, like it or not, you will get to know the people at the next table and the waiter will probably invite you to his next party.
This used to drive me nuts. As someone who really only likes interacting with people in limited doses, the thought of engaging when it wasn’t really necessary totally puzzled me. Until last weekend.
Yeah, I was walking with my dad in Treman State Park where we were staying. Well, david and I were staying there, not mom and dad, they were in a hotel in town. David’s daughter Emily got married there to a cool guy called Matt - different story, different blog post when I have some photos. Anyway, my dad wanted to show me the waterfalls that he had found earlier on a walk. While standing there he found the only other people in a mile’s radius and struck up a conversation. It was brief, the people were nice and happy to engage - this isn’t always the case, as you can imagine, but this time it was. They took our picture and are going to email it to my dad. As we were walking away dad stopped, he paused and said, “ya just have to do that! You just have to talk to people! You have to! It’s so important.” I’m pretty sure he meant the universal ‘you’ as in ‘one’ but he said it with such conviction that I took it personally - as advice from a father to his daughter about how to live life.
I said it used to bug me when he did that, but it doesn’t now - now that he’s explained that it’s just something that we must do. Truth be told, I’ve been doing it all my life anyway, even before he told me it’s important. He modeled that behavior into my psyche - definitely a case of nurture over nature. I thought of my dad’s words today when I stopped to chat with neighbors that I hadn’t seen in a couple weeks. It felt important.
So, dad, happy father’s day. Thanks for all you do for me, all you give me, and all you teach me - particularly the value of engaging with people. It is important.
Can you teach me to clean next?