Lucky Colour Green
To begin, a list of things my dad has instilled in me to love:
- taking risks
- lacrosse games
- candy apples
- loud music
- having a favourite shirt and wearing it every day, usually a striped one
- naps on the couch
- being silly
- the Red Hot Chilli Peppers
- stove-made popcorn is way better than microwave
- sitting in the car for a bit before going inside can be therapeutic
- celebrating even when there is nothing to celebrate in particular (this might look like getting ice cream and then slurpies on a random weekday after second grade).
(this list is incomplete and rests among plenty of other things that are probably so embedded in me I don't even realize they were his first).
My dad was (sorry mom) my first favourite person I think. Playing the Little Mermaid game in the bathtub while he pretended to be King Triton must have sold me.
Everyone says that my dad and I are the same person- witty, talkative, knows everyone wherever we go. It's probably because (despite my initial denial of the similarities) the person I have always wanted to be most like was my dad. I watched him consistently be to others a mentor, a helping hand, someone you could rely on, and I decided that he naturally has all of the best qualities anyone could ever want.
In addition, the main attribute I love about my dad is his ability to be weak, too. A bit raw and emotional- the strong face doesn't cloud out the being human. I didn't realize how sentimental and resilient my dad really was until the morning before I moved to Paris. That morning we were walking my dog together before driving to the airport when he gave me a ring, a silver embellished band that has a black square with an "S" engraved in the middle. It looks sort of like the Superman "S" I wold draw with the 6 connecting lines on my notebook in grade 5. I had never seen it before, but I could tell that it was special. I don't think he knows this, but I took that ring with me in every bag I carried around in Paris. It was my personal lucky charm.
Those first couple of months in Paris were tough, navigating being truly alone for the first time. But I knew that having my dad's ring near me would be credible for any small amount of luck that day. I knew that I would always make the right decisions with it close to me, just like how he always knows what the right thing to do is. I think the kids who would call him Sean the Leprechaun in elementary school had a point- he does have a way of finding the gold at the end of the rainbow, in the form of small victories and humble successes.
In many ways, as I get to know my dad more as an adult, I ache thinking about the gut-wrenching experiences he has faced, a lack of opportunities and recognition. I want to stick up for him just like he has stuck up for me these past 21 years. (although when I was in 5th grade his principal/boss said some extremely mean and untrue things about him and I did draw her being eaten by an alligator in several different ways- so maybe I have always instinctively stuck up for him just not effectively).
Not a week goes by where I don't tell someone that my dad could have been a professional hockey player, that his IQ is higher than Einstein's, that he is a ski patrol or he founded his own landscaping company.
But beneath all these titles, he is MY dad, and ring or not, I sure did get freakin lucky with that one.
I can't wait to read your book someday.
54 candles and wishes to you dad, love you!