I used to think my dad was invincible. In fact, I thought he was invincible until I moved to college for four years and was abruptly confronted by the work those years of aging wrought on him. It was actually very painful, discovering that my father was a human being, that he aged, that sometimes he drank too much and fell asleep, that he could get lost or frustrated, and that there were some things he didn’t know how to do. How was it possible for a person to not know how to download music? That frustration, as I now realize, was a product of my age, of my searing, debilitating immaturity. Im able to look past those human frailties these days, to see that perfection is an impossible trait to achieve, to understand that however many faults I can observe in him my father is still kind to everybody regardless if they’re deserving; that at 64 (almost 65) he can work my ass under the table; that he is patient, and gentle, and generous; that he feels guilty when he hits butterflies while driving because he finds their simple existence beautiful in some way; that he has tact; that, even though he is unassuming and quiet, he has an astonishing capacity for remembrance and logic and observation and artistry and creation and reflection; that he cares deeply for his family and other human beings and the planet he lives on; that there isn’t a single petty bone in his entire body; that he is good natured and always smiling; that he has never been sick enough or hurt enough to offer more than cursory and almost uniformly self deprecating complaints. Yes, my father is a human being after all, but I love him the more for it.


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