I like NASCAR.
There. I said it. I might even push it a little further to say that I reallylike NASCAR. Instinctively I feel like I shouldn’t. After all, one look around the Las Vegas Speedway–NASCAR paraphernalia, midwestern twangs, and alcoholalcoholalcohol–told me I was out of my element. I wouldn’t have been there at all if it hadn’t been for my sister having a baby (a brand-spanking-new niece! A NIECE! Joy of joys!) and my mom, the original ticket holder, going to help her. Which meant my dad had one extra ticket, and I had a chance to have a weekend alone with my dad.
I love my dad. We’ve always had a great relationship. But as much as I love him, I just haven’t spent that much quality time alone with him. My mom and I have frequent days and weekends together, but my dad’s work schedule keeps him busy. Not to mention that, well, there haven’t been a lot of excuses to get together. After this past weekend, I wish I’d come up with an excuse earlier.
We had a fantastic time. He introduced me to all the finer points of car racing, which was far more engaging that I ever expected. It’s like taking every basketball team and putting them on one giant court to play together at the same time. There was so much to take in, and so much camaraderie to enjoy. Beer, smoke, and swear words aside, it really is a very family affair. We shared our love of peanut-based candy bars and good Mexican food. We also shared conversation after conversation, revealing common thoughts on marriage, jobs, and parenting. Plus we had wise advice given on both sides.
I think spending one-on-one time with people is possibly the best way to deepen your relationship, and I can’t think of a better relationship to deepen than this father-daughter. Which leads me to five words I always knew: I really love my dad.