My Dad is a Superhero

We all have the hero thing for our dads. I get that. But tonight, I can’t help but feel like my dad is better than that. He doesn’t call me. He doesn’t follow me on Twitter. He’s always thought he was somehow less important than others. But he’s the most kind, decent, brilliant, hilarious person on this planet, and I wish he could get some recognition for that. He never tries. He even goes out of his way to seem less awesome than he really is.

Now, granted, he didn’t step foot on the moon or step out of a capsule at 130k ft to set a record. He didn’t have to. He set a record for me long before I even knew what records were. This man has been the most rock solid guy I’ve known in my whole life. He went to bat for me when I thought no one else would. He hasn’t been a perfect man, but who among us can claim that? He has shaped me from before I was even a zygote, and he continues to influence my decisions today, even if he’s not directly involved.

Our parents control us. Ok, not quite to the extent you’re thinking now. They don’t order us around. They merely provide a reference point that we might consider as a seed upon which to build our sense of self. No. They do so much more than that. They shape how we view the world. If dad says “well, maybe we could do that with a little effort” we would fight to the death anyone who challenges that assertion.

Dads are meant for this task. They tell us we can do more than they can. Even that seems absurd when we consider what our fathers have done. But, somehow, we dare to do better. Not in spite of our dads, but because of them. I would never have dreamed so big were it not for my dad. He taught me that nothing is impossible. If I wanted to jump to the moon, well, maybe I could. So, what did I do? I became a rocket scientist. I want to prove him right, and one day, I will set foot on some other rock than this one I was born on.

Today, I can say I’ve built several companies from nothing, led more than one team to national accolade, and achieved things I never could have done without my dad. Sure, for much of that, all he provided was some genetic material and a vague feeling that the world could do better, and I could make that happen. In the end, though, I owe it all to my brilliant misunderstood father. He sacrificed so much more than I ever could, just to make sure I could have a mediocre life. Well, dad. Mission accomplished. And then some. I’ve done so much better for myself and my son than I ever thought possible because of you. Without you, I would be nothing. Without you, the world would be sad. And if they’re not, they don’t know what they had.

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