My dad and choo-choo trains.Posted: June 15, 2012
People say that the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. If I am the apple and my dad is the tree, then that tree would be out on a hill by itself, away from the orchard. Unique and different. It wants to stand out and not be in a straight line with all the other trees. It wants to make a difference with style. It wants to be a hero.
My dad taught, and is still teaching me, how to be a man. One of the things he taught me was to be fearless and he did that in a unique way.
When I was six or seven years old, he gave me a cup of brown liquid and said ”Here son. Drink this. It’s like chocolate milk.” After sipping it, my face wrinkled up and my mouth burned. Coffee tasted nothing like the sweet taste of chocolate milk. It was bitter and new.
In that moment, my dad taught me to not be afraid to try new things.
When I was eight or nine, my father made me watch horror movies. The TV screen was full of vampires, monsters and guys wielding machete’s while wearing hockey masks. There were lots of people screaming and running for their lives. I was mortified. ”It’s not real.” he said, “There’s no such thing as monsters.”
In that moment, my dad taught me to not be afraid of the things that go bump in the night.
When I was ten, my dad took me to Six Flags. ”Do you want to ride the choo-choo train?” he asked. I was barely tall enough to reach the height limit. When the bar came down over my lap, I quickly learned that this choo-choo train was like no train that I have ever ridden. Choo-choo trains don’t climb up steep hills. They are safe, slow and happy.
When the choo-choo train dropped off that first hill and plummeted towards the earth, I knew that this was no kiddie ride. It was indeed, not a choo-choo train. It was the Great American Scream Machine, one of the oldest and fastest roller coasters in the world.
In that moment my dad taught me that life is a thrill ride. It’s full of ups and downs and that I shouldn’t be afraid of a little adventure.
I dont recall enjoying these things when they happened many years ago but over time I realize that this was one of my dads unique gifts. He taught me these things by putting me in the moment. He is fearless and has taught me to be fearless. The apple didn’t fall too far from the tree.
He leads by example.
He is one of a kind.
He’s my dad, my hero.