Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Fathers' Day

I remember specifically the day I knew my father was a good man.  It was a small thing and I don't need to tell the story here, but it's a feeling of pride that is unlike anything else I've ever felt.  We are all very aware of a parent's pride - almost as a cultural institution - we make jokes about chatty parents with their wallet photos or their tendency to name-drop universities attended or awards won, but I am proud of my father.

My dad likes to tell a story about walking me into the first theater I ever performed in.  My friend Tad had talked me into being in a production of Tom Sawyer; I played Joe Harper in a tiny community theater in Altadena, CA.  My dad remembers leading me in, watching me squint into the new darkness, see the empty seats, the actors rehearsing onstage, and the director wheezily spilling into at least two seats, and he thought to himself, "Dear God, don't let him love this too much."

As one who loves it too much himself, he knew what he was praying for, and though his prayer certainly was not answered, he still says he's proud of me.  And I can relate, because I'm so proud of him.  I love you, dad.

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