I think I’ve been editing this post in my head for a number of years now. The bulk of it mostly tidbits of childhood memories, important life lessons and assorted sports trivia that pop up in random conversations and remind me of happy moments with my father.
It seems fitting then that in celebration of my father’s birthday this week that I share my thoughts. After all, he’s a writer so surely he’ll appreciate it more than most. That and I technically haven’t purchased an actual birthday present yet. Blog posts are better than golf clubs, right?
I’ve mentioned my dad in posts before. By now you probably know of his unique sense of humor, love for sports and incredible luck when it comes to front-row parking spaces. It’s hard to sum him up in a few words, because, well I have a hard time summing anything up in just a few words. So instead I’ll offer my thanks.
So thank you Dad,
- For teaching me that girls can do anything boys can do. And sometimes better. Specifically how to be the only girl who knows how to properly put on catcher’s gear on an all-boys coach pitch team.
- For giving me a great last name. One that could get me into a restaurant even when I didn’t have a reservation. And one that allowed me to enjoy the perks of being Murf’s daughter in local establishments and state fairs.
- And for a solid first name too. Although I think if you had your way I’d be named after one of the ’84 Romanian gymnasts but that’s another post entirely.
- For telling me stories. About family. About sports. About politics. About family politics pertaining to specific sports.
- For teaching me how to read a map, change a tire, drive and parallel park. Because you insisted on me learning in that order, I’ve never felt helpless on the road. And it’s because of you that I stop and smile when I squeeze my car into a spot that few other city dwellers could maneuver.
- For never choosing favorites. Correction. For always choosing favorites. Your frequent “favorite daughter” references have left Anne and I befuddled as to who the favorite actually is. I assume that’s been your plan all along. Well played.
- For teaching me how to fix things. When it came to emotional or physical breaks, there wasn’t much ice, an aspirin or electric tape couldn’t fix.
- For having high grammatical standards. I’ve run a lot of races, but none have been as physically challenging as the dinner you challenged me to form sentences without using the word “like.” And for that I’m like totally grateful. Like totally.
- For being patient. It’s not easy being a father of two daughters. Especially during the tumultuous water bra years.
- For encouraging me to be independent, but helping me when I needed it. Disclaimer: this does not mean that I will ever get too old for cash day. One can never be too old for cash day.
And finally, for being the type of dad that makes it easy to write a laundry list of things I’m thankful for. Speaking of laundry, remember when you stopped folding ours the first time you found a thong?
To my dad, this birthday may not seem significant in number, but the challenges that he’s overcome over the past few months are significant to say the least. And like most situations, he’s handled them with hope, humility and a lot of humor. Just one more bullet to add to the list of things I’m thankful for.
Happy Birthday, Dad. Next year I’ll get you a golf club.