I have always admired Gregory Nagy the man. He is undeniably a remarkable person. Brilliant, friendly, funny, caring, and of course, passionate. He is an easy man to respect. But I am his daughter, so I have also always been critical of him as a father. But that is not my fault! I was raised by intellectuals who value the process of deductive reasoning. How could I not be overly analytical?
As such, I would often critique my father as a father, scrutinize how he raised me, and question his influence on my conditioning. But now that I am a mother, it is so obvious to me that as much as one can judge their parents, you have to realize that they did the best they could. I have so many happy memories of my father as a dad, and those are the ones worth remembering. Worth focusing on. Like the games “sausages for sale,” “foxy,” and “clash of the titans.” I remember my dad helping me with my French homework at 11pm, and always making time to look over one of my papers for misspellings. My dad did the best he could, and I honor that. I love him for that.
But despite my rational mind, I still carried a small flame of resentment until this summer. My father was working on a book for Harvard that was due at the end of august. This book was to be the culmination of all his work for the past 20 years. So needless to say, this was a big deal. But even though my dad was under immense pressure, he still made time almost every day to be with my daughter. He would put down his computer, and pay full attention to her so I could have some time for myself. Thinking about it now makes me want to cry.
It is now that I finally realize, that my dad is not only a great man, but a great father, and grandfather.