LAUREN BRANT: Enjoying Buddy Days

Lauren Brant enjoys a red popsicle while sitting on a bench with her dad, Sean. He taught her how dessert can be the best part of the meal.

My dad and I have shared many fond memories fishing or out hunting, but the role of a father is more than little moments. For my dad and I, it’s about enjoying ‘buddy days’ and sharing lifelong memories.

Growing up, my dad started a tradition of enjoying buddy days. They were typically on Wednesdays, which was his day off from work.

I have enjoyed being in the outdoors since I was young and have many fond memories going on fishing and hunting trips with my dad. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized those memories began when I was five months old. Our first buddy day started on Father’s Day 1994 as he carried me in a baby carrier and my Zebco Snoopy fishing pole into the river for our first fishing trip.

As I grew up, we continued to go fishing and my dad taught me how to take a fish picture and tell fish stories. While I may have only caught a 10-inch rainbow trout, holding the fish out in front of me gave the illusion of a larger fish in the photos.

Since then, my dad has taught me many valuable skills and life lessons that have shaped the person I am today.

He taught me how to ride a bicycle, how to drive and dessert is a go-to meal, especially during college.

A fond memory from my childhood was learning to ride my bike.

With my white helmet strapped on my head and a pink coat, gloves and boots on, I sat on my pink and purple bike. My dad held onto the seat as he adjusted the training wheels and then we were off. Pedaling down the sidewalk, the training wheels rattled against the concrete as I swayed back and forth. As I picked up momentum, I looked behind me and realized my dad was not holding onto my seat anymore. He was standing with my mom in the driveway, smiling at my accomplishment.

Throughout my childhood, you could typically find my dad and I eating ice cream on our buddy days. With a Sonic kids pack sitting on the center console, we sat in a white Dodge pickup enjoying lunch outside of Pueblo. During one of these buddy days, we were on our way to the big slides. Despite loving the adrenaline rush of going down the pool slides, I had not mastered the technique of swimming. But my dad had a plan. He went down the slide first and waited to catch me. After several trips down the slide, I became more comfortable with the water. As I rounded a corner on the slide, the fun immediately turned to fear as I spun around backward. Not thrilled, I started screaming for my dad and afraid I would be pushed under the water. Rounding the final corner, my dad started swimming closer to the slide and pulled me up as soon as I hit the pool.

My dad has always been there to support me in whatever I do but more importantly, he taught me the value of hard work and honesty. While our buddy days were filled with many fun filled activities, when I had school, my education always came first. There were many nights where I would flip through my mathematics book trying to solve an equation with my dad by my side. Although solving Algebra equations is not apart of my daily routine, I learned a larger lesson about teamwork. Regardless of what challenge a person, family or team faces, by working together, you can reach a solution.

Reflecting on the skills my dad has taught me over the years is reason enough to celebrate Father’s Day, but knowing that he taught me how to have fun and the importance of never growing up is something that continues to bring me joy everyday.

Lauren Brant is a reporter with the Star-Herald and the Gering Courier. Contact her at 308-632-9043 or by email at lauren.brant@starherald.com.