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“Another lame pun,” I groan to myself. My family around me does the same, though we are all laughing on the The Human Anatomy. We could never admit it; encouragement is the last thing he needs for his jokes. Outsiders to the family unwittingly chuckle out loud before being heckled by us for their obvious bad taste in humor. We call them “suck-ups” because nobody in their right mind would laugh at what was just said. But we love it all the same.

My friends tell me that they find him intimidating at first. Then they see that what appears to be intimidation, is just his constant calm demeanor; something I continually strive for. They see him as brooding over some deep thought, while he is really just content with simple intricacies of life: gardening, watching television, golf and forever throwing trash away. I find myself watching him and wondering what he is thinking. My thoughts are constantly changing, exploring new directions, fretting over the latest development, while he, my antithesis, sits in peace. This is what I want to be. This is my role model.

He came from a family of seven children, born the eldest of the bunch. I wonder if he was always this relaxed, or if the whining of the younger children taught him to shut things out. If the latter is true, I wish he would teach me the same. I seem to be the only one who notices his eternal peace. The only one who craves it. I wish it were mine. For now, I shall just wonder about his unfathomable musings.

Maybe it was my mother who taught him to be calm, though not by example. She is quick to make friends with her easy chit-chat and sometimes biting commentary. When she leaves for a party, I sometimes wonder, who is more popular: she or I? She no doubt. He, on the other hand, is quiet and reserved, opening slowly and carefully before trusting you with his thoughts. His questions pierce straight to the core of the truth, sometimes alarming others before quickly being disarmed by his frank honesty. People see that in him, and I love it.

I do not want to follow in his footsteps, I just want to be in his shoes. I hope that full maturity will bring about this repose I so dearly long for. I can already identify some of him in me: my mannerisms, nuances, behaviors and thoughts reflect his care; yet I can not shake the feeling that what he has, what he is, is purely unique. His approval is all I need for happiness, for he is my role model, my teacher, my conscience, my hero, my dad.

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