I know, it’s cheesy, but consider Sunday’s posts a counterpoint to my usual snarkiness: today, I’m posting three things I am thankful for this week. No snark, no sarcasm and no curs–well, let’s not go TOO crazy…
In honor of the occasion, today’s post is centered around an individual I am particularly grateful for: my father!
1. I’m grateful for my father’s unconventional name. Not his actual name, mind—what I call him. I am not totally sure of the origins of this, but somewhere along the way of his pre-kids life, my dad decided that any children he had would call him Dad-0. So my sisters and I have always called my dad Dad-o. It was totally normal when we were children, and then each of us went through our own eighteen-month-or-so period in early adolescence when we found having a unique name for our father, like, SO HUMILIATING, and became adept at making references to “my father” rather than saying his name. None of us actually tried calling him “Dad” or something similar, though; that would just be silly. And now I really like it—it feels more like a name than calling him a more common moniker.
2. I’m grateful that I grew up with a father who loves animals. We always had dogs when I was growing up—typically German shepherds, but there have been many other breeds (and a few ex-strays) in there as well. I firmly believe that growing up with animals as part of your family makes you more responsible and compassionate, and also more laidback, since you accept early on that everything you own will be covered in hair. I also love (and have adopted) my father’s approach to naming animals, which is to give each dog a name that respects his or her ethnic heritage. So, for example, we had German shepherds with names like Graf and Siegfried, a golden retriever named Baxter, and a stray named Eureka. This is a big part of why Remy is named Remy, and why our imaginary British bulldog is named Albert. I’m thankful for a father that passed his love of animals on to me!
3. I’m grateful that my dad has a strong sense of justice. I could tell any number of more substantive or moving stories to illustrate this, but instead I’m going to tell one of my favorites. (You’re welcome, Dad-o.) So when my sister and I were in seventh grade, we had a math teacher who was very Christian. And let me be clear, I don’t have a problem with that. What I did have a problem with was him dressing up as Moses on Halloween and spending our entire class period (at a public school) quizzing the class on Bible verses. Somehow, my sister and I and the one Jewish kid in the class didn’t get called on. Shocker. Anyway, after going home and reporting events to my parents, my dad ended up in a parent-teacher conference with the teacher in question, who insisted that sharing his religion with his students was part of his First Amendment rights, separation of church and state be damned. My father (who, by the way, is a law professor who specializes in constitutional law, so Mr. Pearson was basically screwed from the outset) responded by saying “Well, I don’t want to be difficult, so that’s fine with me…As long as, in the interest of equal time, I’m allowed to show up the last schoolday before Christmas break dressed as Satan and quiz the children on The Satanic Verses.”
Yes, I am aware Mr. Pearson probably went straight back to dressing like an Old Testament prophet the moment my family stopped darkening his classroom door. But he didn’t do it again in my presence, and that’s victory enough for me.