Where do you begin when you thank your father?
Patient. Thoughtful. Supportive. Funny.
I woke up early as a kid to watch cartoons. Guess who was already awake -- always? On Saturdays he'd take me to Dunkin' Donuts, just the two of us. Our conversations usually went like this:
"Dad! I have a business idea!"
"What's that son?"
"You know how gas prices go up and down?"
"What if we bought a ton of gas when it was cheap. Then if we had a huge tank, or a balloon, we could fill it and sell the gas when it was worth more."
"Okay. Let's think about this. What if that tank caught fire? We'd need insurance. Or what if people tried to steal it? We'd need to hire folks to watch it. I'm sure we'd also need to repair it occasionally. And what if the price stayed low for a really, really long time?"
I don't remember him ever tiring of these questions. This is extraordinary because I'm the sort of person who lists himself on Facebook as the "Chief Question Officer" of The Question Academy!
Instead of discouraging me, he subtly encouraged this curiosity by participating -- or questioning me back.
We also discussed politics. Or the magazines I received -- Discover, Popular Mechanics, Popular Science, Wired, Newsweek. Or sang Jim Croce songs together.
"Ah, this song must have come out in... October of '71."
How in the world do you remember that Dad? I always thought.
And from him I learned to play with language.
"Son, before we get donuts I need to get a car wash, or versa vice."
I still slip that one into conversation. It always makes me smile, and I watch to see if anyone catches it.
Thank you Dad for setting an example of providing for your family with humility and humor.