Vail Daily column: Thanks for teaching me what life can be
To my dad on his 60th birthday:
Recently, Dad was doing the “let’s watch a movie as a family” thing — a great idea, but we are always too busy, too scattered, too tired — but I’m glad he did. We chose the movie “Big Fish,” which is a story about a man of enormous passions and tall tales whose son wants to get to know his true dad, not hear the unbelievable stories of the amazing adventures of his dad’s life. The movie is strange, no doubt, but it moved me — I stayed up way too late thinking about it afterward (Dad slept just fine, falling asleep about 20 minutes into the movie). The moral of the movie, I think, is that maybe how we see life is what matters; maybe we make our own truth.
Like the father in “Big Fish,” Dad’s experiences are sensational — “the deepest snow of the year,” “the friendliest guide,” “the most beautiful, untouched beach,” “the most delicious, fresh pastries” … we’ve all heard it. It seems like whenever you miss something with Dad, you miss out big time. This frustrates me. How was that play the play of the year? We both went to yoga — how was the class you went to so much better? I skied with you all day — how was that last run I didn’t take so much more epic? I went there, too — why was your experience so much more memorable? Like the son in “Big Fish,” I want to know why his story is always so much bigger — the conversation he had, the sight he saw, the path he took was so much better. Why can’t it just be another hike, another dinner, another newspaper article?
The answer, I think I am learning from Dad, is why be underwhelmed? Things are as you see them and experience them, so be amazed and be inspired. See life as a spectacle full of adventure, achievement, and awesomeness.
Dad, thank you for teaching me to see what life can be. Thank you for living your life to the fullest every single day and telling us about it. Thank you for bringing us (and I mean all of us — your family, your friends, your clients, strangers, whoever) along on the ridiculously unbelievable ride.
I love your extraordinary ways and cannot wait to see (and hear about) where you captain the ship of your life to in your 60th year and beyond.
Love you to the moon (and then let’s come back again to tell about the wonderful adventure),
Laura Littman lives in Vail.