Yesterday, I learned an important lesson the way many important lessons are learned.
The hard way.
I was half way into town when the alert light came on in my car. It’s the same light that illuminates when I need an oil change, but having just had an oil change not long ago, I ignored it and proceeded on my drive.
Well, it turns out that the light comes on to alert me of tire problems as well, because when I hopped out of my car to pick up my dry cleaning items, I was greeted by a very flat tire. I mean, it wasn’t flatter than flat, but it was pretty flat.
So who do I call? My dad of course. Because for all the years he’s been telling me I should learn how to change a tire, do you think I ever took the time to learn? Um, no. Well, not until yesterday, that is.
So my dad left work and came to rescue me. He patiently helped me dig the tools and jack out of my car. He removed the spare tire, and did all the dirty work as I stood by reading random facts from my car manual that he already knew.
I talk about my mom quite often in my blogs, but I rarely talk about my dad. But not because he’s not important. In all honesty, he’s probably the most under-appreciated person in my life. Accepting internships, traveling across the country, having horses – none of it would be possible without the support of my dad.
He helps me even though I often take his help for granted. He helps me even though he never receives the thanks he deserves.
Dad, the horses need more hay. Can you go pick up some bales? – ‘Sure.’
Dad, can you run the tractor through the paddock? – ‘Sure.’
One of my favorite “dad being awesome” moments took place at the MN State 4-H Horse Show several years ago. I was going to compete in the demonstration division with a PowerPoint presentation about off-track Thoroughbreds. My mom was attending a relative’s wedding that day, so dad was elected to stand in for mom.
I didn’t have a laptop at the time, so I had called someone in advance who agreed to loan me theirs. For some reason or another the laptop fell through, and I was left standing there with a USB and no way to give my presentation. One of the people at the competition snipped at me that I should have been prepared.
I generally try not to let my emotions take over my logic, but nerves, stress and the “whipped puppy” feeling overcame that, and I started crying.
My dad jumped into action. He started walking me around and instructing me to breathe so I would calm down. He patted me on the back and smiled and gave me hugs. His unruffled demeanor and comforting words helped me get my game face back on. I was able to find another laptop to borrow for my presentation, and I still placed in the top five at the competition.
But that wouldn’t have happened without my dad’s unwavering support.
So today, as I embark on my 2 week adventure to Kentucky and New York City, I want to give a special thank you to my dad, because he truly is the very best.
And without his help, I would still be stranded in the Sweeney Cleaners parking lot.