Saturday, September 5, 2009

Like a True Nature's Child...

I am not sure it is entirely possible for me to embrace human heroes---I am the first to know how elusive remains the ideal of perfection, no matter how much we may desire it. I do, however, believe in celebrating heroic acts, and I feel blessed to count among my family many people who demonstrate heroic behavior daily. Heroism can be soft or bold: perhaps quiet in the taking of responsibility for chores around the house without complaint; or perhaps audacious in a fierce searching out a physical or mental fear for conquest.

My dad, lately, has been pushing himself to create new parts of his life, to broaden himself, and, in the words of my very missed Grandpa Don, to "never stop learning." This is heroic.

With a healthy sense of trepidation and respect, my dad took a motorcycle class recently and, having passed it, made a bold move to purchase a motorcyle. I do not know much about motorcycles, but boy, this one is pretty. It is a red Harley---and I am so glad he went with something iconic.

Anyone who knows me, and anyone who knows my parents, knows that we are definitely (mostly) preppy. We tend to bring out our inner preps together like nobody's business. With a brief period of time in which I favored hippie skirts and peasant blouses (early 20s), it has been mostly pressed blouses and button-down sweaters all the way (for my mom and me) and dockers and polos for my dad, sometimes docker shorts and Hawaiian shirts. Since I am in California, I mellow it out with flip-flops. With some variance, our lifestyles and philosophies match this way of being. We're usually all accounted for by midnight at least, we adore Starbucks, and we won't get into politics too much on this blog... My dad is really a salt of the earth kind of guy. He has always provided for us no matter what, and he knows how to buckle down and do a job without complaint because it is the right thing to do. He has the old school values...and never really has done too much for himself that I can remember.

But one thing about the Matics-Yoder line is that we like to surprise people, and sometimes we even surprise ourselves. We're never all prep---we always have something outrageous up our sleeves, whether it be a surprising double entendre or dancing tango on a table or...well, you get the idea.

Anyway, so my dad now has a Harley, and I couldn't be prouder of him. He is still learning all about its power, and at times, I can see the concentration and terror on his face. But he is already getting better at it...and like I said, the motorcycle is so pretty that it is almost like Sleeping Beauty's spindle to me. I know I probably ought not to go near it, but I can see the temptation to ride it.

Kate calls her Boppa the "Motorcyle Man." The other evening she asked me to call Boppa and have him ride over...which he did.

Here is Kate earlier in the day before Boppa comes over...

Kate plays in her summer dress and bow...

Kate becomes Biker Chick Kate. It was actually her idea to hold the handlebars. (The bike remained parked while she was on it).

She cheered as Boppa zoomed around.

I am proud of my dad, because he identified a fear (riding a motorcyle) and set out to conquer it. And not only that: he is pushing himself to learn and do something totally new and totally outside of something he ever imagined himself doing. That is totally inspiring!