Everybody has a hero. Even if you’re a cynical, anti-social stick-in-the-mud, you’ve got a hero, even if that hero is just yourself.

Some of us choose historical figures. Aspiring mathematicians worship at the altar of Einstein. My philosopher friends quote Nietzsch with every other breath. Little girls look to Pocahontas or Joan of Arc or Anne Frank or some similar tragic hero.

For some of us, our heroes are fictional characters. I’ve talked about this before: we’ve all got our Supermen/ women who we put on a pedestal as impossible ideals. Perhaps this is childish, perhaps it isn’t. All I know is that I know more people who look up to Dr. Who (in any incarnation) than who look up to people like Marie Curie.

But most of us will find that we look up to people that we know and know well. We have watched these noble persons’ lives; we try to emulate them; we hope one day to be like them.

My hero is my dad.

Those of you who follow my FB posts will recognize that he comments on my Facebook status almost every day – in his usual Yoda/ fortune cookie style. He is just as opinionated as and far more eloquent than I can hope to be. It is thanks to his informed commentaries on modern politics, economics, history, psychology, philosophy, and anything and everything under the sun – that I know what I know today. Thanks to him, I know how to troubleshoot computer-related issues, fix broken stuff around the house, pass a polygraph test (not that I have ever had to…yet), outcon a con (again, yet to be tested), etc.

Thanks to my dad, I know how to make a good pun and many, many bad ones. He taught me that conformity to the world’s twisted standards is not success. I know how to stand up for myself. I know how to respectfully address authority. I know how to put my foot down and say “no.” I know when to stand up and say “yes.”

He has spent the last twenty plus years of his life protecting me and my sister. Some have written him off as “too overprotective,” “too controlling”, and “a worse dictator than Hitler” myself included at times. But thanks to him, I am safe, smart, well, wise, and whole. Thanks to his guidance I have avoided considerable danger/ trouble. He is a pro at keeping the boys away and appraising the men to see if they are worthy of his precious baby girls.

Until a suitable knight in shining armor comes along, he is my best and bravest earthly defender, and I love him to death.

To which he would say: “I love you more.”

And I would say, “No – I love you more.”

And he would say, “I loved you first.”

But then again, I’m not known to be vocal about my feelings so the exchange above is obviously just all in my head. But yes, my dad loves me and my sister more than any guy in the whole wide world and I won’t trade him for anything…less than a trip to Santorini, Greece! LOL. I’m only half joking.

Happy Birthday, Mumz!