So, without further ado.......here's Andrew!
Mom's having a week or so of "guest appearances" in her blog for Father's Day, which starts what would be a week of Dad Appreciation. Well...it WOULD be a week, but Mom's birthday cuts that off on Wednesday!
So: I'm the second child, Andrew. I'm usually called "the baby whisperer", since I can almost always make Kate stop crying when she's grumpy and can actually understand the things she says. While I don't bake cookies like Sarah, or do the dishes, I do eat most of her cookies (hey, it counts for something...) and dry the dishes when I'm not working.
Since this is about Dad, I should begin with something that I don't actually remember, but I've been told many times. When I was a baby, I was bottle-fed at night, and Dad would sit in a blue rocking chair while I drank and (apparently) rubbed his fuzzy hair with my hand. I was so attached to Dad that when he started grad school and wasn't home every night at my bedtime, I refused to drink my bottle for Mom or anyone else!
Sooner or later, I was done with the bottles, and began Little League baseball. And, of course, who else would take over the coaching job when I was 10, but Dad. While I wasn't exactly Ted Williams, playing baseball was one of the highlights of my childhood, in large part because of Coach- I mean Dad. Between the practices and the games, and learning how to actually hit well and throw from third to first with decent accuracy, and even pitch (which I never really got the hang of), spending the time in the most stereotypical "guy" way possible with Dad is something I still think about and miss from my childhood.
When I began high school, I ran cross country and track for 11 of 12 sports seasons, so I knew it wasn't something I would be able to do with Dad the same way baseball, and briefly basketball, was. Running is different from throwing a baseball back and forth, or having a one-on-one game with someone (who was at least 6 inches taller and 20 years older. Guess who always won?!?). But when he had time, Dad did run with me, and we even ran a few 5-K races and 10-K races together between freshman and sophomore year. And he came to enough of my track and XC meets for me to know that, while it certainly isn't as entertaining as baseball or basketball games, Dad still came and stayed the whole time I was competing, even though he couldn't actually see me for most of it!
Just being at home when Dad's home, on days off or when he's half-asleep on the couch after work, is another fun one. He's (usually) awake enough to carry on conversations, and when he's not threatening to eat my ice cream (all in one bite(!), which he has done before) or trying to show me elaborate karate moves that look incredibly uncomfortable, it's a nice way to end a day. Even when Luke is playing "Transformers" and throwing stuff across the room, and Kate is running along with him screaming as loud as her little lungs will allow, he jumps down and plays with them.
Beyond the stories of growing up, it would be hard to find a better role model and father than Dad. Someone who's perpetually honest and faithful, and works as hard as he can to provide for his family, can usually be hard to find, and we're lucky enough to have him live in the house and raise us.....(despite the horrific jokes he tells (which I've sometimes told as well. Genetic, I guess). And, like Sarah said, he'll probably do the same compliment-dodging that he accuses Mom of (which is also true, and I hope Mom doesn't edit this out), but we're blessed to have a dad who lives up to everything Sarah and I have said (and I think one or two more siblings will say)!
Happy Father's Day, Dad!