Yesterday I ventured out into the great outdoors — as opposed to the lesser outdoors between my front door and the top of the stairs, which I visit regularly while seeing my kid off to school.
There was a thing for my dad, and a lot of relatives showed up, including a few I had not even known existed whom I am related to in ways that remain as lost to me as their names.
There was a lady who was not actually a relative, but is nevertheless considered more of a relative than most blood relatives — who aren’t actually MY blood relatives because I am in fact adopted. (Also a Russian bot.) She fussed over me and held my water bottle, and for this service I shall remain eternally grateful.
There were cake pops, exactly two dozen of which I managed to take home with me because red velvet and white chocolate were being heavily discriminated against. (NOTE: The red velvets proved unworthy of rescue.)
There were also over a hundred people who were even less related to me than the cake pops and relatives. None of these people were Russian bots; all of them had gathered to honor my dad in ways I never would have imagined possible.
I learned yesterday that my dad is a hero — a legitimate American hero. The stories I heard about him were so incredible, I am still struggling to process it all.
Never in a million years would I have guessed the extent of what he’s managed to accomplish in his forty-two-plus year career; never would I have thought my dad capable of inspiring so many damned people.
What they’ve credited him with is truly astonishing.
To be told that my dad is mononymous within his field feels amazing, but also a little strange.
Still, it goes a long way toward explaining the behavior of people who used to come up to me and introduce themselves, then continue to stand there staring at me as if there were something remaining to be said. I used to think they were hitting on me, until I finally concluded that my dad simply favored hiring the socially awkward, possibly for reasons of national security.
I’m looking forward to reading the books they say will one day be written about him. The knowledge that my dad will someday be mentioned in the same breath as people I’ve only read about truly blows my mind.