For me, Father’s Day is a time to reflect on how lucky I am to get Russell Tibballs as my dad. From as early as I can remember, he was a great one. Dad read us stories with all the voices, dug huge holes with us while we made drippy sandcastles on holidays at the beach, join in our long and loud board games, taught us how to cook, encouraged us to draw, write and create. He was not perfect, but he was quick to own his mistakes and apologise when he overreacted or snapped at us.
As we’ve grown older, I’ve come to appreciate how much he taught us through his actions. More than once, dad drove for hours to drop us off at events and then drove back to pick us up. He never complained and was quick to tell us he loved us, even when he was frustrated or upset. When asked, Dad spoke honestly about his life before us and made it clear to us that he was not just a dad, but a person with hopes and dreams. Most of his hopes were about us as a family being comfortable and safe, but he had his own passions too.
All of my siblings have some artistic tendencies. From graphic design and candle making, to being able to make up songs in the moment and storytelling. We got this on both sides of the family with quite a few artists in the family tree, but I think it’s likely some of it comes from Dad.
Dad follows hobbies on a whim, from buying plaster and creating abstract sculptures, having bees to collect honey and pickling every vegetable in sight. He once went through a year of making Creme Brûlée. You may think that sounds amazing (and for the most part it was), but dad also has a tendency to over do it. We just couldn’t keep eating the volumes of the dessert he was making. Mum was begging us to come home to eat some of it so it wouldn’t be wasted. And then last year it was apple crumble. You get the picture, it’s always something.
So this Father’s Day, I want to thank my dad for lots of things (he put up with a lot with the five of us). But most of all I’d like to thank him and the other dads who follow their passions and teach their kids that it’s ok to do the same.