Row Your Boat

The prompt for 52 Ancestors this week is Father’s Day.

I adore my father. I could probably write a book about him if I had the time. His name is Michael. He is a man of integrity, love, and service. Growing up, he always came to activities that I participated in and still supports me in lots of ways including scanning family photos for this blog and playing with my children.

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Dad as a baby

He can sometimes seem a very serious person. At 6 foot 3 inches, his presence can be commanding.

When I was in college, I lived at home and participated on the university’s women’s rowing team (also known as crew). One night, we were having family dinner and I was telling everyone the meaning of my first name; etymology was especially interesting to me at the time. My dad then said that his name meant “rower.” I was surprised and overjoyed at this connection between my dad and my rowing passion. In the next breath, he started singing “Michael row your boat ashore…” and making arm motions as if he were rowing a boat. Apparently, my face expressed my feelings, which made my dad laugh uncontrollably, almost to the point of tears. I had never seen him laugh that way. Sometimes, we can get him to laugh like that again just by singing the song.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad!

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