Certain moments have the power to shape you. I adhere to the belief that one's personality is already sketched in at birth, and that the experiences of one's early years serve only to fill in the picture, to add color and depth.
As you may have gathered, if you've read any of my blog, I'm sort of a geek. It took me a while to come to terms with it, but now that I embrace my geekiness, I realize that I need to thank my father for adding much of the shading and color to that part of my self.
It may have started even earlier, but my first geeky memory is of my father reading us The Hobbit out loud, making different voices for the characters, a few pages each night before bed. Yes, his Gollum sounded suspiciously like Grover, and his songs were a little off-key, but it didn't matter to me. When we finished the Hobbit, he read us the Lord of the Rings. I remember the apprehension I felt as the Fellowship entered Moria, and my sadness when Boromir fell. It was summer, and we were on a family vacation in a cabin in the Laurentians, when Theoden King defended Helm's Deep, and the Ents took Isengard. I read the books for myself soon after he was finished, and loved them even more. I didn't get all crazy and teach myself Elvish (Sindarin or Quenya), but so far, I have re-read those books at least twenty times. I know I'll read them again, probably another twenty times, and I look forward to reading them to my children someday.
It occurs to me, now, that I've never sat down to watch the Lord of the Rings movies with my father. Maybe I should fix that sometime.
Thanks for your half of the geeky genes and the encouragement, Dad. Happy Father's Day.