Did you remember Father’s Day? What favorite memories do you have of your father, or father-like figure in your life which helped connect you to nature?
For me, I was always Daddy’s Little Girl. Dad took me to all kinds of sporting events. We loved going to baseball games. I’d get some Hawaiian shaved ice, some hotdogs, and hang out with my dad all night. It was so much fun.
Dad was also one of my biggest supporters for my sports. He would take me to swim meets every month, even if it meant getting up at 4:00 in the morning to make it across the state in time for the 8:00 am practice.
He took me on exciting snorkeling excursions in Hawaii while my mom went shopping with my sister. And he braved rapids with me on whitewater river trips.
Ironically, nowadays, as an adult, I more often identify with my mother. We are both progressive conservationists. My mom taught me to use reusable cloth bags way before it was “cool” to do it. She nurtured my passion for the ocean by taking me to Florida every year. She signed me up for swim team so I could be a great swimmer and become a dolphin trainer. My mom now listens to me when I talk about the dangers of palm oil for Asian wildlife, how plastic is just eating up our world and the oceans. Sometimes I think my dad is just humoring me.
But when my parents came out to visit earlier this month, I was touched and pleasantly surprised to hear how I’ve influenced my dad, who is now working hard to influence his friends and business associates to protect the environment.
I bought him a nice Gators water bottle last year. He says he takes it everywhere with him and now the country club, where he plays golf every week, knows he doesn’t want their (stupid) Styrofoam. What almost brought a tear to my eye was when Dad said he got his friends to also bring reusable water bottles. When he does get a drink at a restaurant or on the go, he makes sure to tell the server “No straw” and doesn’t even get a plastic lid. Many people forget about that plastic lid.
My dad influenced me as a kid. Because of his encouragement and support, I wasn’t afraid to try exciting, new things. I spent a lot of time outdoors- hiking, playing, swimming, and enjoying time with my dad. Now, I get to influence him. That’s a special treat, and I am so happy SOMEONE is listening to me.
Both of my parents helped shape me into the person I am today, but on this special Father’s Day, while I am experimenting in experiencing all nature has to offer, I am thankful to my dad for opening the door to the wide world and showing me the sky’s the limit.
And happy father’s day to all the dads out there.