This post is sponsored by P&G’s Thank you, Mom campaign.

I’ve always admired my father, but now that I’m a father myself I admire him even more. No matter what (often crazy) interest I became obsessed with as a kid, he always supported me one hundred percent, and believe me, that was easier said than done with a kid like me.

Before I get into my crazier childhood interests, I should mention that some of my pursuits were pretty typical, like baseball. That  undoubtedly thrilled my Dad, a lifelong baseball fan who grew up idolizing Mickey Mantle. What probably didn’t thrill him was just how over the moon crazy I got about it. I made him play catch every night when he got home from work until it was too dark to see, wait with me for hours after games at Candlestick Park so I could try to score autographs, and even manage my little league team despite the fact he worked an hour from home and leaving early to get to the five o’clock games likely nearly cost him his job! He did all of these things for me, though, totally supporting my love of baseball, and never once complained. Being the oblivious kid that I was, it never even dawned on me that he might not be as excited about doing these things as I was, but he never let me see that.

Spohrcation

What really amazes me about my Dad is how much he supported my crazier interests. The first one that comes to mind was my short-lived (though probably not short-lived enough in my Dad’s eyes) obsession with airplanes. Unlike normal kids, though, I didn’t just want to go see the Blue Angels fly or catch a matinee of Top Gun (which I did dozens of times). No, I was the weird kid who wanted to build an actual, working airplane so I could fly it to school and stop taking the bus. Amazingly, instead of smacking me upside the head, my Dad agreed to help! He took me to the hardware store to buy “parts,” spent hours with me hammering wood together in the backyard, and even agreed to let me have the engine out of his lawn mower to power my plane (but only after I’d successfully built the rest of the plane). Thankfully for all Spohrs involved, I was no pint-sized Wright brother, and eventually moved on to my next obsession. My Dad’s allowing me to explore this crazy dream, though, meant a lot to me.

Annie is a lot like I was as a kid. When she gets into something, like her latest interest, Wreck It Ralph, she becomes obsessed. Some dads might find this annoying, but thanks to my Dad’s influence, I’ve watched the movie with her to the point where I know it by heart, played hours of “Ralph and Vanellope” in the backyard, and even took her to our local pizza restaurant so she could see an arcade like the one in the movie.  Supporting Annie (and soon James) in their interests will be exhausting at times, but I’m always going to help them follow their dreams and desires wherever they take them. That’s a gift my Dad gave to me, and one I’m going to give Annie and James as well.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad! You’re the greatest!

This Father’s Day, P&G’s Thank you, Mom campaign is celebrating dads and everything they do for their families! On their Facebook and Twitter, Thank you, Mom wants you to fill in the blank and share what makes the dad in your life (OR YOU!) the #WorldsGreatest ____. They will be selecting some of their favorite responses and creating custom illustrations to help these users honor their Dads. Check out some of their cool illustrations here.

Tony and Mike

 

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