Father’s Day

On a freezing day in 1983, my dad worried about starting the car. My mom was due to drive to the hospital in Sioux City for a scheduled cesarean section to give birth to me, their third peanut. But with icy winds and blizzard conditions, my dad wondered if they’d make the appointment on time.

Luckily, the ’78 Accord did sputter to life, and my parents—bundled against the cold—drove the 10 or so miles to St. Luke’s.

Later that day, I arrived, and my dad officially became my dad.

Now, almost 30 years later, he’s about to become a grandpa.

I’m excited for Peeper to get to know Grandpa Ryan. My paternal grandparents died before I was born, and I never had a close relationship with my maternal grandfather. My own dad, though, already has kayaking lessons scheduled out for Peeper. And if I know him at all, he’s also scheming to rope our little one into pillaging and replanting ferns in his yard, teasing drive-through employees, sneaking snacks into movie theaters and skipping school for spontaneous exploits.

Dad with the first three Ryan kids (that's me in the middle; Amy hadn't arrived yet).
Dad with the first three Ryan kids (that’s me in the middle; Amy hadn’t arrived yet).

My dad was a source of constant mischief when I was growing up. He seemed to transform any task into an adventure. We road tripped cross-country—and even waking up to discover the shoes that we’d left outside the tent had disappeared made it into family lore. Collecting cans (worth 5 cents apiece, a fortune for a 10-year-old!) at Oregon Ducks games filled my savings account and became a source of ridiculous stories. Even driving to Portland to visit my mom when she was undergoing cancer treatment included a fun distraction: We would count hawks perched alongside I-5 and see who could spot more.

Mortar boards: A popular accessory.
Mortar boards: A popular accessory.

So happy Father’s Day, Dad. I can’t wait for you and Peeper to invent new ways to get into trouble together.

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