There’s a difference between a good Dad and a cool Dad, and the two are often mutually exclusive. But I’m lucky to have one that’s both.
Even from a young age, I knew I had a good Dad. He was supportive, nurturing, attentive: Everything a loving Dad should be. But beyond bringing me into this world, I’ll always love him for bringing me into another: The creative world. Sure, getting there meant ever-so-slightly bending the rules of the standard-issue Dad Standards of Decency Handbook. For instance, when he took me to see Lord of the Rings at age nine, I was terrified. Nonetheless, that made him cool.
But plopping us kids in front of his favourite music, movies, books, and comics wasn’t just an attempt to pass the time. He was sharing his love of life. And in being not just a lover of art, but a creator, he taught me that expression was valuable. He would hold up our childhood drawings with pride and watch our costumed theatrics with glee, camcorder in hand.
He would only become cooler when he remedied his disillusionment with the advertising world by chasing a new dream of his: Working in video games. The ensuing tours at various video game studios and hands-on demos served as even greater proof that art — and expression — had value. But most importantly, his decision illustrated how courage and authenticity could lead to a better, more fulfilling life.
I like to think I’ve learned many valuable lessons from my Dad. And as long as I have him in my life, I expect to learn many more.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad.
Your son, Stefan