At some point in my not too distant past my Dad stopped playing Mercy with me. The game where you lock hands and attempt to twist your opponents hand in such a way that it causes him to writhe in agony until he calls uncle, or mercy. It may have been just before I joined the Army, perhaps just afterwords, I didn't really take note even though it was a momentous day. Not because we no longer played the game, it had always been in jest before, but we stopped playing because Dad discerned that he was on the verge of not being able to best me. It was a sign that I was becoming a man. My Dad has an awful lot to do with the man I am. He was a science teacher. As hard as he tried to not prejudice me towards whatever job I would do for the rest of my life (as long as it wasn't a public school teacher) I became an engineer--a practicing scientist. He introduced me to Star Wars, Star Trek, and canned spaghetti. All things I have tried to instill in my daughters (I'm still hopeful that Benedict Cumberbatch's performance or JJ Abrams's reboot of both movie series will be the final catalyst in the final notch of the trifecta because they don't like Starfleet). Whether we try or not, we measure our success, and our growth by our parents.
Yesterday I posted a joke, a mathematical joke which my Dad didn't get. Why do engineers (or mathematicians) get Halloween confused with Christmas? Because Oct 31 = Dec 25. While I may not want to ever admit I have grown up, those around me would argue that I had anyway, I have passed another measurable point along the path.
And this isn't to leave Mom out, she's an important part too. I just don't know if she knows that the Octal number 31 (Oct 31) is the Decimal number 25 (Dec 25).