Happy Father's Day!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

It's hard to know exactly what to say about my dad. He's always been really awesome, very stable and supportive. He's always encouraged us to reach for our dreams while reminding us to be modest about any of our achievements because everyone is achieving something wonderful, even if the school isn't handing out an award for it.

I had a bit of a confidence gap in middle school because my sister, who it turns out actually is a brilliant rocket-scientist, was starting to do better than I did on school-wide assessments even though she was a year younger than me. He explained to me that everyone is smart in different ways, it might be in school or it might be in making friendships or in using common sense. It's all equal, he said, it's not all equally recognized. I always thought that was really smart and I appreciated it.

In the midst on this confidence gap, we swung by Harvard while we were on vacation, as a way of showing me that he believed I could do anything if I tried really hard. But, this didn't mean he actually wanted me to try to go there. When I was a high school senior, he explained that there was really a lot to think about in deciding where to apply to college and who you wanted to be. You want to go to a school where you'll meet fun, down-to-earth people that you'll really like. Find a place that feels like home, but will still open the doors to your dreams he advised. And that was brilliant advice.

But, my favorite thing that I learned from my dad was to love Nebraska football. Growing up as a Nebraska girl, there really is no cooler thing than to understand the ins and outs of play-calling and who is on the second-team offensive line. For a large portion of my life, my dream job was being the offensive coordinator for the Huskers. And my dad encouraged this by taking to meet players, even if it meant standing in line for hours in below zero temperatures, and explaining different parts of the game. He taught me how to throw a spiral pass in the backyard and helped me apply little "N" tattoos to my cheeks on game-day. My mother, who is also pretty cool, switched pediatricians after the doctor suggested that it wasn't realistic for me to want to be a football player when I grew up. She and my dad were both infuriated that someone would already be limiting my dreams while I was in pre-school. Good job, parents!

Being a Husker fan has not been without its perils. For example, I flew from law school a day early to catch a Husker game before interviewing with law firms and did not think about how the "N" tattoo would affect the sunburn I was developing at the game. I had to interview with an "N" burned into the side of my cheek. I didn't get that job, but now I find the whole thing really funny. (I mean, this is professional, right?)

My dad is still there for me, wanting all the best and loving everything I do, particularly the things that aren't achievements I could list on a resume. I love you for that, dad! Thanks for being great.

Xs; Os

jillian

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