Today is my dad's birthday. I tease him that he is getting old but since Mara and I have been calling him "Fraily" for several years now, I suppose he is used to the abuse. I'm not sure that I will see him today and I failed as a daughter and didn't get him a gift in time, so I figured I should at least wish him a happy birthday on here. (Not sure how great of an honor that really is...the few people who actually read this blog are his other kids and already know that it's his birthday and that he is a great dad. It's the thought that counts though, right?)
I am happy to celebrate my dad's birthday, to celebrate his presence in my life, because I don't know where I would be without him. My favorite thing about my dad is his ability and willingness to listen. I am a venter (and apparently an INventor, since I just made up that word) and he has always been willing to endure my venting sessions. No matter what it is I need to talk about I know I can call up my dad and he will listen. The best part is he will give me his opinion if I ask for it (usually) and he won't if I don't (usually). He even endured these vents and debates of mine when I was a teenager and questioning, for lack of a better word, things related to beliefs that were very important to him, allowing me to think aloud and get the same sort of knowledge that he had for myself.
My dad is a pretty smart man. Insanely smart, almost annoyingly smart, really. And in my humble opinion, he probably could have used his brain to a make a lot of money for himself and his family. I am grateful though, that he chose a career and a location that made him available to us. I am grateful that I could get a ride to school on the handlebars of his bike if I was late. That he could leave his class for awhile in the middle of the day in order to attend all of my tiny performances in grade school plays. That he could coach every t-ball, softball, and basketball team that I was on. That he could attend every tennis match. The active role he played in my life is far more important to me than if his paycheck was big enough for expensive trips and fancy cars. I am grateful that although he was a professor and a branch president and a home teacher and a gardener and an avid reader, first and foremost he was always a husband and a father.
Thanks Dad, for your example, your listening ear, your patience, and your time. I love you. Happy Birthday.