My Father’s Soccer Jerseys

By Chase Richter, Student in the Advanced Chinese Class, Boston College

I slowly looked through my childhood closet. I saw old toys, old books and childhood clothes, but I was only looking for a comfortable T-shirt. Suddenly I saw a bunch of soccer jerseys, and in that moment I remembered an important part of my childhood that I had forgotten. When I was growing up, my Dad would travel around the world, from East to West. The business trips were not that long, usually from two to three weeks. Every country that he visited he would buy a soccer jersey for me. As I looked at these jerseys, I realized they represented my father’s eternal support.
My father and I at a rugby game last summer.

I was born on June 29, 1995 in California to a very fortunate situation. My parents own parents had divorced, and I feel like they learned from the mistakes they experienced growing up. I love my parents equally but this essay is for the Father’s Day, thus focuses on my relationship with my father only. I will introduce my father; also will introduce his influence on me. I hope that after you reading this essay, you will understand why I chose to write about this relationship.

My father grew up in California, graduated from UCLA, but he took the first opportunity to leave the state. I think that California’s nature and my father’s personality were not well matched. He currently works at a well-known financial firm. I know that when he has to take business trips it really saddens him being away from his family. This is why he bought all these soccer jerseys. Now I think, one of the reasons he took a job in Hong Kong was because it would require fewer business trips. He really wants to go to my soccer, rugby matches. For example, I remember a soccer match that started at 4:00. He originally said he would not be able to come, but as I looked on the sideline I saw him standing next to my mother, made me feel very happy. I played very well that match.

To be truthful, I made a fair amount of mistakes while I was in high school. Fortunately my father always supported me, sometimes even when I did not deserve his support. I remember one night in junior year I really messed up. I won’t tell too much, but after a night out I was not able to get myself home. I called him at 2:00am, asked him to come pick me up. The next day I was expecting him to very angry, but not only was he not angry, he said he was happy that he was able to be there to help. This is a great parenting example, where supporting your son is more important than being angry. I learned I could tell my father my troubles and he will help me resolve them, as well as realizing that he understands the importance of support.

I feel that I have a very healthy relationship with my father. I tell him my secrets, work dreams as well as woman troubles. Regarding my work goals, he has been especially helpful. He often sends me relevant emails, gives me interesting books and even introduces me to some of his colleagues. Besides this, we also have similar interests and have a good time together. We both love to ski and one summer we went skiing in New Zealand together. We also love watching sports. My father works really hard, but simultaneously is there for his family. Every weeknight is a very happy time. When I was living at home, every Sunday to Thursday we would eat dinner together. Looking back, those are some of my happiest memories. I think that without my father’s positive influence, I would not be who I am today. Even though work has been incredibly demanding, he barely let his work influence his mood at home, which is a very important trait.

I am still looking at these soccer jerseys, from England, Germany, China Japan, Netherlands and Spain. In my head I pictured my dad at the stores in these various countries, buying these jerseys thinking of his son. I know my father’s influence will help me with work, friends and family life. As I reflect on his parenting method, I think that if I have kids I will certainly strive to have a similar parenting method.