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Fun and Serious

An essay on how my father shaped my life.

By Shelby R PerezPublished 11 months ago 3 min read

You know how as kids, at least one of our parents was our hero? The one you could talk to. The one you could do anything and not get in trouble with. Mine was my father.

As young children, it is natural to veer toward what we want and those that can give us exactly that. Being the oldest of three, but being my father’s only child gave me some privileges. I spent my vacations at theme parks and road trips across California and never gave my mother or siblings any thought during that time. Needless to say, I spoiled in both love, goods and opportunities by my father and his family. Fortunately, I also had a presence of mind not to brag or if I did it was not to a great extent, nor was I one to show off, even then. Dad was the fun parent. Though my mother did her best for all of us and had her moments fun she was also, in my eyes the serious parent. The one to talk you down from a tantrum, put you in tune out, and get you to talk about bullies because, as well as going to school while living with her, she also knew when I was upset and to tell me to speak up. I didn’t talk about bullies or school much with my dad because it always fun times with him. All I saw was the silly, excited, funny parent who could always make me laugh and smile, because that was what he was there for.

It wasn’t until I lived full time with my dad that I saw his more serious side. He tried helping me with my homework but preferred to make sure I got it done and passed my classes. When I slacked after my Freshman year he showed his fury for the first time I could remember. He helped me look for volunteer work as that was part of helping me graduate high school. Yes, he had showed that he was also a parent and not just the fun guy who’d buy me toys and play during the summer. It wasn’t until much later I realized axactly how spoiled I had been, but every time one of us brings it up he will always reminisce the time he took me to a toy store and said he would be buy me anything and everything I wanted. How I had looked all about the store but did not pick anything, until I spotted and blue dinosaur shaped piano. That was all I had wanted. And every time he brings it up he looks so proud and happy. A part of me wishes to go back to that time. Maybe then, I can have a clear picture of his joy as well as my own.

After I had come of age he pressed for my goals and new opportunities. College, the coast guard, jobs. It is thanks to him that I got my first bank account and my first debit card and years later I am still figuring out how to keep my balances in check. For my more trying tasks he has been there. Now after years of community college, and buying a house I am still learning the importance of money and spending my time wisely so as to improve both our lives. While recent events have certainly made things difficult, I have managed to keep myself positive and trying to be smart about my choices.

He is still with me, teaching me new things. Mostly how to keep calm and keeping him calm from the chaos that is everyday life. A life that to him, I am sure, is far different from what it was when he was my age and how he thought it would be. Most of what my father taught and is still teaching me is patience and understanding. I can only hope I can help him relearn these things as the world continues to spin and people continue to prove to be difficult, helpful and hilarious in the long run.


About the Creator

Shelby R Perez

I am a college student and lover/writer of fiction and poetry, especially Fairytails and mythology. I am working to become a published author, using my love for myths and legends to reintroduce gods, spirits, demons and heroes.

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