One summer afternoon during elementary school, I happened to see an episode of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood in which a child learns to play the drums. Suddenly, learning to play the drums became all I wanted. I told you about it, and without the slightest hesitation, you told me we could go to the music store to pick out a practice pad and some drumsticks. I was over the moon. My fleeting desire to play the drums lasted all of a day, but the fact that you took me seriously and supported me in my dream lasted a lot longer.
In high school, you'd wake up before the sun rose to watch me sprint across the dewy golf course behind our house as I trained for the upcoming cross country season. In college, you drove me to Atlanta to board a plane for the Amazon jungle, even though I'd never even been camping before. I know it probably wasn't how you pictured your teenage daughter spending the summer, but again, you supported my dreams.
I think we're a lot alike in that we're dreamers. You've lived by example that reaching those dreams is possible: for so many years, you've made a living playing the piano on stages around the world. And for a little girl to see her dad doing something he loves and supporting her in what she loves is rare and beautiful.
Just 7 months ago, you supported me in a way you'd probably dreamt of: walking into the hospital room to meet your first grandson. The emotion of this video says it all.
As Liam grows and inevitably dreams in strange and wonderful ways about what he might like to do, I want to follow your lead and not squelch those dreams. I want to support him - whether on the sidelines of the soccer field or the audience of a concert hall or a myriad of other places - because of how you've supported me. If I can be anything for him like you've been for me, I know it will mean the world.
I love you!
Happy Father's Day!
PS - To my Shawn, who we celebrate for the first time as a father this year, I hope today is so joyful for you! Liam is one lucky boy to have a front row seat to your job as a dad. Your love for him is so deep it brings tears to my eyes.
PPS - To my father-in-law, Don, we celebrate you today, too! Thank you for raising the man I love to be a man who follows hard after the Lord.