When I was young, some people used to tell me about how awesome I was for some reason. Much of the time, they would laugh and chuckle at the same time as they told me I was awesome. I had no idea what the heck they were driving at, and very often it seemed like they were making fun of me. I could not feel this awesomeness they were speaking of, if it wasn’t just some really stupid joke. But later on in life, when I would run into these people again, they would maintain that I was just that: awesome.
I was a rather gruff person as a boy. I didn’t care for great displays of emotion unless they seemed absolutely necessary. And truly – I didn’t see what was so awesome about me, or why I should love and be loved, and why any of this was a big deal; why did people want to love me, anyway? A gruff, insensitive, hard-mannered fellow who cared more about basic respect than about whether or not people found him to be “awesome.” Just respect me and my boundaries, I’ll respect yours, and that’s all that’s necessary, I thought.
Then, many years later, when I finally matured enough to see so many things I had never seen before, something happened: I saw this same awesomeness in my father.