Everybody needs a stalwart. The person who is always there, no matter what. He never gets mad on the outside. This person provides one with confidence to get through difficult times. In my case this person will tell you that graduate level math is difficult, but possible. He will sympathize with the unfairness of having an engineering whiz for a teacher, who thinks it's perfectly acceptable to ask five questions on a test when getting through even two in the allotted time would be a near miracle. That's what the curve is for, after all.
He will hold batting practice with his no-talent-daughter every night, even though she will still just get to the plate and try and restrict her strike zone by squatting down as much as possible to draw the walk.
He taught me how to drive. And here's my confession. Curfew in my home, was strict. I don't actually know what the punishment for missing curfew was, but I do wish my sister had bothered to find out so I could have evaluated whether it would be worth it to ignore it. I do believe, as the older sibling, it was her responsibility.
One night, I was at a party at a friend's house. I'd driven there in the somewhat unreliable car my parents owned and allowed my sister and I to drive. I looked at the clock, and realized there was no way I was going to get home by midnight (my curfew). And so I called my dad. I told him the car wouldn't start. I failed to tell him it wouldn't start because I hadn't bothered to put the key in the ignition. The car not starting was probably not a particularly surprising piece of news for him to hear. Had he known the reason, it probably would've been a surprise. My dad got in his car - at midnight - and drove to pick me up. My friend's house was about 15 minutes away.
When my dad arrived at my friend's house, he tried to start the car I was driving. Of course, it started right up. I feigned relief. My friends looked on in disbelief. My dad drove home and I followed. I was never punished.
To this day, I don't know if my dad believed that the car hadn't started previously or if he was just helping me out - in the hopes that I would never think it was better to call him at midnight than be home a few minutes late.
What I do know, is that my dad must have been driven by love to pick me up that night. I never did try that trick again. Even my bold high school self knew there was only one "get out of jail free card" and I spent mine that night. Connor and Helen - let it be known, you each get one, too.
Day 1. The All Night Sewing Spree
Day 2. Package from a Friend
Day 3. For the Love of the Game