A majority of my Saturday was spent in the new baby nursery, painting the walls apple green. My dad came up and pitched in, which allowed us to spend a majority of the weekend slinging green paint around together. I was grateful for the help and the chance to spend some time together. He’s always been the show-up-at-every-sporting-event-and-spelling-bee kind of dad. But we’re both busy and live in different states, so days like last Saturday are rare.
On top of the two coats of paint, our time together taught me two things. Well, three if you count making sure you double check that the electricity is turned off before you replace an outlet. But that’s a given, right? Who doesn’t do that? Seriously. Anyway… that’s neither here nor there. Let me get back to the issues at hand.
First of all, I’ll just admit it before the entire worldwide web. I, Eric Epperson, am slowly turning into my father. It’s true. There’s no use fighting it. There’s no chance of denying it. I did the research. I have accepted it. The similarities are there. Same vocal pauses. We sit on the couch the same way. Same annoying attention to details that don't matter. Those familiar facial expressions I used to mock as a kid, I’m getting pretty good at them… without even trying.
There could be worse things to become, I guess. I could slowly be morphing into a jerk. Or an insurance auditor. Which I bet people actually do just slowly turn into. You don’t set out to be an auditor. You just wake up one day, and realize “Crap. I’m an insurance auditor. When did that happen?”
Regardless, back to my dad. He really is a solid man. Pretty wise. Pretty smart. He has a sweet hook shot. So yeah, I’m being completely honest when I tell you that I’d be honored if you were to compare us.
But that’s not how the game is supposed to be played. These types of comparisons typically rub young guys the wrong way. I’m supposed to struggle through this; push against the idea of becoming my father. It’s all part of becoming my own man.
Not me though. Not at all. I’m totally cool with it. Why am I so secure in my acceptance? It's found in lesson number two. Just one little conversation brought the comparison game back to reality. As similar as we’re becoming, even if our gait is oddly identical, it’s obvious that we still think completely different. And here's what I mean:
Dad: When do you think Torrie will have the baby?
Eric: I don’t know. Can you really know? It's not like it's a science or anything.
Dad: But sometime around (April) 14th?
Eric: Yeah, maybe so. They talked about pushing the due date back to the 19th. Any day works, just not 20th.
Dad: Why not the 20th?
Eric: It’s Hitler’s birthday.
Dad: Well that shouldn’t matter. Who knows that?
Eric: I do.
Dad: Okay… but being born on a certain day doesn’t determine your destiny.
Eric: Yeah, maybe she could redeem the day.
Eric: Ehh, but it’s also the Columbine shooting anniversary. The 20th is out. She’ll just have to hold it.
Dad: It’s just a date. It doesn’t mean anything.
Eric: I guess. But did you know that Hitler’s sons made a pact not to have children so that the bloodline would end?
Dad: That’s stupid. Just because your parent was a nut doesn’t mean that you will be.
Eric: That’s a relief.