Many years ago, on a family driving vacation across America* we stopped to do an activity completely new to me. Dad assured us it would be fun and mom,though I saw straight through her act, pretended to back him up completely. Called "white water rafting", the activity calls for groups of up to 8 people to pile into a rubber boat and float down a river which numerous times becomes frantic, choppy and terrifying for anyone under the age of ten. At the time, I was under the age of ten.
*Still possibly the best vacation anyone could ever experience... Roller coasters, bike rides, caves, wild raccoons, bears, mountains, beaches, cousins, city dwelling, outdoor living... America*
All I was really told is that, with the help of a guide, we would be navigating down a river that at any point in time could become very dangerous and, even worse, that I had the very important task of making sure everyone's paddling pace was timely and together. In my mind, otherwise, we would crash and the vacation would be ruined. I really did not want to do it. It seemed as if NO one should want to do it. Why did Dad want to do this so badly when it was clearly such a poor health decision? Either way, it was something he obviously wanted to do and my brother Eric seemed WAY more willing, excited even, than I thought he should have been so we set out down the river- a death sentence practically.
Fast forward 10 plus years and I am currently a white water rafting guide, terrifying children the same age I was when dad convinced me to take a chance on the deadly waters we floated that amazing vacation. Tomorrow is Father's Day and I cannot even begin to imagine where I would be today had my father not gently pushed me to try new things each and every day along this ride called life. Living amongst the most diverse group of people I have ever been around* this summer it is more clear than ever to me that the upbringing one has dictates so much of one's personality and overall success** in life, and try as I might to screw it up, my dad gave me a great one. Whether he likes it or not, I am who I am today in large part because of Roger Paul Wright. Growing up in a house full of girls, and losing his own Father to cancer at the age of 4, my dad is twice the man I could ever hope to be.
*Hippies, college kids, hipsters, convicts, hicks, good ole southern folk, people from literally every cardinal direction of the continental United States- and then some.*
**definition open for personal belief**
As life rushes by and times are ever changing one thing that should always remain constant is the relationship between child and parent. I am the luckiest person in the world in this regard and truly hope that, even if for only one day, everyone out there can experience the love, support, and happiness that I have because of the man I call dad.
Happy Father's Day to all the Dad's out there. May your day be full of Joy and BBQ.