The Megalodon was an amazing predator. A 60-foot shark with teeth over 7 inches long. It ruled the seas for 20 million years. I love collecting Megalodon teeth. Recently I picked one up that is over four inches long. It’s not perfect – it has few serrations and part of one side was broken off at some point.
It’s hard to dwell on the imperfections considering how incredible it is to simply look at and to hold in your hand. I decided to make a stand for it using a fossilized whale vertebra. I carefully carved out a chunk of the vertebra and set the tooth in it. It now looks as though the Megalodon lost its tooth while taking a bite out of the whale. Besides the fact that I think it looks pretty cool, mounting the tooth this way hides the imperfections and helps the viewer to imagine the sheer power the Megalodon had.
As I was working on this mount a few weeks ago I started thinking about fathers and how they are a bit like this tooth. My dad in particular is pretty amazing. He would be the first to tell you that he isn’t perfect. If he’s anything like me, then I’m sure he’s harder on himself than anyone else and has a running list of character flaws he’d like to change.
But since he’s my dad I don’t notice the minor flaws. To me he’s simply incredible. Having him as my dad showed me all the wonderful things about him and made it hard to focus on anything else. As far back as I can remember I’ve always wanted to be just like him. I remember staying up late on Saturday nights just long enough to listen to the Doctor Who theme song (before falling asleep on the floor) because I wanted to be with my dad.
He spent countless hours helping me with math homework, which I knew I had to learn well since I wanted to be a physicist (like him) when I was in kindergarten. We geeked out at museums and he showed me the best way to shock people using the plasma globe at the planetarium.
So to all you fathers out there – and to my dad in particular – thank you for being so incredible in the eyes of your children. I wish you could see yourself the way I see you. Don’t be so hard on yourselves for not being perfect, just be the epic Megalodon you truly are – and have that second helping of pie, you deserve it!