the first memory i have of being alive, is one of my father and i when i was two. he was teaching me how to hit a plastic baseball. i had a yellow bat and i believe red overalls. my dad was, of course, wearing blue jeans and a t-shirt. (this is his default dress code. “i’m never out of style, son.”) he was on one knee across from me and throwing me underhand pitches while talking me through my swing. we were also indoors. in front of a sliding glass door. to my dad, things like these do not occur to him, yet they do to my mother. i remember her coming home and being less than pleased that her boys were holding a home run derby in front of a giant pane of glass. now again, i was two, and again, the bat was tiny and plastic, yet to momma, it may have well been a branch from a redwood in california. busted.
i’m one of the lucky ones. i have the most incredible dad on the planet. he has always been there, has always cared, has always worried. he has always, and unconditionally, loved my siblings and i. when i was six he taught me to tie a tie because it was important to me. when i was 21 he took me out for my first beer as an adult. he used to let me sit in his lap and strum the strings while he played guitar. he is the smartest, strongest, and most sincere man i know, and he has shown me the type of father i want to be when that time comes. more importantly, he has shown me how to be a man.