This is the picture that got me thinking.
I grew up with my dad as my primary male role model. I would almost say only.
When I was growing up, there was a period of time where it was just my Dad in the afternoons taking care of me, all the way until we got home at night together.
My parents couldn’t afford childcare. After school my father would take his lunch break, pick me up. I accompanied my dad back to work, where he’d work the rest of his second shift.
I remember I hanging out in the back of a jewelry store until it was time to go home or my mom picked me up after work.
I would watch as my dad sold jewelry, greeted customers, and dressed a certain way. I learned how to interact with people and how people interacted with him. I knew all the staff and would just talk with folks and learned how to use a ribbon machine for gift wrap.
It’s made me wonder how much of an impact he’s had on my life, and then, after that, on to other people’s lives. I know we’re not the same people, but by the same token, he definitely played a major role in how I started learning how to be who I am. The person I’m discovering and keeping track of now.
I want a lot of you reading this to know that my father helped shape the first “me” you met, but who I am now is in no small part influenced by all of my interactions and experiences with you.
I think I turned out all right.