My parents instilled a sense of adventure and discovery in all four of their children. So, here it is June 21, 2009 and my Dad is spending another Father's Day without his kids. While I am the closest, in terms of proximity, I am still 2728 miles away from his North Vancouver home.
Both my Mom and my Dad can be credited with exposing their children to the arts and culture. This past semester as part of a Research Methods course I was taking, we were asked to write a paper on our personal epistemology. This paper was designed to encourage us to reflect on our personal backgrounds and experiences and relate this to our current research interests and philosophical beliefs. It sounded easy enough, but was perhaps the most difficult thing I have ever written. I did not hand in my first draft, as it ended up being somewhat of a collection of memories and experiences that chronicled the twists and turns of my life, all of which cumulatively frame who I am today. However, what this first draft did do, was point out all those little things my parents did or encouraged me to do, that have resulted in my interest in and passion for the arts.
When we were young, my Dad would get us all up early on Sunday morning and take us on what he called "Mystery Trips." These trips ranged from looking for seashells and various tidal creatures on the beach, to visits to museums and art galleries. We drove through the countryside, walked around the city looking at architecture, visited historic parks, and attended cultural events that ranged from art and craft fairs, sitar concerts, to aboriginal ceremonies. These trips not only exposed us to all that the city and surrounding areas had to offer and to diverse cultures and experiences; they taught us how to "look," really look at life and the objects around us, and to think about what we looked at. While my Dad is responsible for teaching us the principles of sound financial management ( I remember my first columnar notebook to record my allowance spending at the age of 10), he also encouraged us to use our imagination. "Captain Courageous" was a favorite bedtime activity as he created and crafted this elaborate pirate adventure story complete with wonderful line drawings and illustrations.
One of my favorite photos of my Dad was of him as a teenager, playing the drums in a local band in Scotland. While he always had a set of drumsticks around, and we could often hear him tapping away in his basement workshop, it was only a few years back at the age of 80 that he once again seriously returned to this early passion. Today my Dad has a complete set of drums which he carts around to practices and gigs all over Vancouver.
Happy Father's Day Dad!