The Daily Illini

Here’s to you, dad

By Yoav Margalit, Staff Writer

Sometimes, living your life isn’t enough by itself. Sometimes you need to take a step back and smell the roses, to stop moving and appreciate how far you’ve come. On Dads Weekend, it seems like as good a time as any to appreciate someone we are lucky to have in our lives: our dads.

Life seems to be an endless succession of problems, each as pressing and difficult as the last. Looking back, I see that the problems I faced 10 years ago, or even one year ago, were barely an inconvenience. But there you were, still helping me through it.

Through all the skinned knees of childhood to all the hilarious angst of the teenage years, you still stuck by me. By your example I found a balancing figure, a person to model myself after and a person to learn from.

Dad, you’re the guy who taught me how to really appreciate a view and how to ski. You helped me with my math homework when I was a kid, and you’re helping me learn to balance expenses while I get this whole “adult” thing figured out.

You taught me how to drive when I was 16. When I tapped the brakes too hard or turned a little too suddenly, you said, “At least we didn’t hit anything.”

You taught me that some books are worth reading again, just to let them sink in and that only getting to half of a book before reading something else is fine, too. You taught me to prioritize and get my obligations done first. You showed me just how fun and relaxing procrastinating can really be.

You showed me the difference between a good steak and a bad one (it’s all in the cut and the cook time, of course), while constantly demonstrating your own inability to cook anything not on a grill.

You taught me that growing up doesn’t mean that you become perfect, but does mean that you always try to be.

You’re the guy who reads the same paper, watches the same movies, drinks the same coffee and has the same laugh as 15 years ago. You’re the guy who picked me up when I was down and told me the truth even when it hurt to hear it.

Because if there’s one piece of truth that most people can agree with, it’s this: nobody is flawless. There are always things we want to do better and there are always things that turn out worse than we’d hoped they would. But you, for your humanity, still managed to make one hell of an impression on me for how I should live my life. I learned how to be proud and still laugh at myself from you.

So here’s to the dads who shaped our lives one awkward, hilarious moment at a time. I’ve got just one thing to say: your jokes still aren’t funny, even on the 20th telling. And that’s just fine by me.

Here’s to you, Dad. Love ya.

Yoav is a senior in LAS.

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