It’s my papa bear’s birthday today, and I can’t wait to celebrate with him! My amazing mother has turned into the queen of surprises lately, and she’s got one up her sleeve for this evening for which I’m really excited to get to tag along. Today, though, I started thinking about all the things my father has taught me, and all the times he’s made me laugh, and all the things I wish I could thank him for. And THEN I realized that, um, hello, I have a blog, and can go ahead and do that right here!
Without further ado:
A Note to My Dad on His Birthday
1. Thanks, Dad, for being 100% right about the fact that black cars are the only way to go. (I’m obsessed with mine. Totally good call on your part.)
2. I’m sorry that I always use the most data on the family phone plan every month.
3. One of my all-time favorite memories with you is of sitting on the end of the dock at the cabin, watching the thunderstorm roll over the east side of the lake. You know that. We still talk about it over a decade later. It’ll always be one of the memories I look back on most fondly.
4. I think my favorite compliments you have ever given me are these two:
a. In eighth grade, I absolutely chewed out a guy I had a baby crush on because he got on my case for not wanting to go to Perkins at 5am. I was super down and feeling pretty bad about myself, and you gave me the biggest hug and told me you respected that I stuck to my guns…that my stubbornness and obstinacy would serve me well down the line. It has, and I still remember you building me up when I find myself facing down the adult versions of my eighth grade crush. I don’t even know if you’d remember that, but that’s the best thing about a dad…your words of wisdom stick with your kiddos.
b. A few months ago I was lamenting the fact that I will probably never truly love a job in my career field, and had gotten pretty negative about the fact that I essentially sold out on passion in the name of stability and solvency. After a decent pep talk, you told me something along the lines of, “It’s so funny because had you told me your freshman year that you were going into accounting/finance, I would have laughed in your face. Now you’re in this field and you’re incredible at it and we’re all sitting here scratching our heads wondering how…” I loved hearing that you think I’m doing well. It’s always nice for a girl to know her daddy is proud of her.
5. You’re still the only man in the entire world who can make me feel better with a bear hug. It was the only thing I wanted last April when I had my heart broken and it’s still the best thing ever when I find myself grumpy or upset or stressed.
6. Thank you, thank you, thank you a thousand times over for my education. The further I get from Notre Dame, the more precious the gift seems. I still feel like that three-weeks-in freshman girl calling her daddy from in front of Touchdown Jesus sometimes…the thankfulness transcends everything. I know you like to joke about me crying because I miss the band, or how much I love campus, or all the other silly things you do to make me tear up and giggle…but secretly I know you do it because you’re proud of what you did for me. I will ALWAYS appreciate it more than words can say.
7. I’ll always think you’re the best cook in the entire world. Even if you “don’t really have a sweet tooth.”
8. Thank you for being the kind of dad who took the time to read to me, to do “I Spy,” to teach me checkers, chess, and pool, and to ensure we understood the musical significance of Supertramp and Fleetwood Mac from an early age. Pretty sure that your investment of time in us as children is the reason we’re all such cool adults…..or at least that we think we are.
9. I respect you and your professional and personal integrity and drive more than just about anyone else I know. I think your intelligence and innovation in the business world are remarkable, and the way you survived the recession and went on to thrive is so incredible to me.
10. As much as we tease you about your insanely loud phone voice, I secretly kind of like it. It's funny and heartwarming to hear you get all happy and shouty on the phone.
We won the paternal lottery with you, Papa Bear. Your dedication to us and love for your family is pretty special. Thanks for continuing to be the best dad ever…happy birthday!!