Because he is flying in this morning, today goes to my dad. He’s a great dad. He always encouraged me to be the best I could be. Math and chemistry teacher that he was, he thought I could do math and science, but when it became clear I was headed to the humanities, he encouraged that, too. He has always appreciated my way of looking at things. We’ve had some of the best conversations on long drives (and maybe missed a freeway exit or two because we were talking). He took me to concerts and played trivial pursuit. He has been an amazing dad. He bought me my first VHS Movie: the Sound of Music. That videotape got played over and over and over. In the last couple of years, he has stopped by the Chinese Cultural Center west of Phoenix on summer trips to California to buy me fresh lychees, my favorite fruit ever. And he always cooked me steaks, rare.
And then there is this second life of his, where he became Granddaddy Nanny. He supported my finishing my Ph.D. by staying with us and watching the kids so I could teach during the day and write my dissertation. For weeks and months at a time. I don’t know that I could have done it without him. He continues to come for about a week every month, and it gives me a chance to catch my breath and catch up on life. The kids adore him (like he’s their favorite person in the world) and I am grateful. He’s a truly amazing dad and granddad.