I was driving to my parents’ house this afternoon, and a song came on the radio. It was warm out, and I couldn’t help but sing along in the car. It made me think about my father and all of the things I’ve received from him. Primarily among them:
- An absolute love and enjoyment for music. His music. My music. I learned to love music because I wanted to like everything he did.
- An insatiable desire to leave the world a little better place that I found it. I’ve watched him my entire life make the world better, and I’ve wanted to do exactly the same in my own way.
- A love for sports. He’s a diehard Los Angeles everything fan. He’s quiet about it though, but he always knows what’s going on. He knows scores and stats and players names. He made me love the Top Deck at Dodger Stadium. He made me fall in love with the third baseline.
- Technology, technology, technology. My father loves gadgets. He’s always up on technology. Usually before me.
- A love of writing. When I was four and five years old, he would have me dictate letters to my cousin to him. He would write them out, and I would re-copy them so they would be in my own handwriting. He worked on fiction when I was younger, and he made me believe that I could write.
- News. News. News. I have a habit of watching the news because of him. But I also think I studied journalism because he would always talk about the integrity of journalism and what a great profession it was.
- Politics. He made me politically active at a very young age. I took it so seriously because it was important to him. For some odd reason, I would consider myself a “Kennedy Democrat” because of what I learned from him. I went through a phase where I read all of his Kennedy biographies, somewhere around the age of 13.
I realize how incredibly lucky I am to have a father like I do. He has always treated me like I could take over the universe, and that has translated into a confidence that has served me well for all of my life. He has taught me extreme compassion. He has taught me how to stand up for myself and to speak my mind.
I listened to President Obama’s little public service message about spending time with your kids, and I remember how my dad would come home tired from work and still take me to the park or play board games with me.
There is nothing in the world that compares to feeling that loved. And I know, each and every day, how incredibly lucky I am to have a father like him.