…gets to be long enough for you to pick up in your hands and weave into a cloth that feels like love itself. -John Gregory Brown
Today is my dad’s 50th birthday. He is a wonderful man whose unwavering love and support has allowed me to experience and accomplish so much. He is patient and kind, humble, talented, loving, very funny, and affectionate. He has raised my brother and me with a grace I can only hope to emulate in my own parenting venture.
My dad never managed to teach me how to waltz even though he’s tried. I’ve watched him spin my mom around their living room, counting out loud for my benefit many, many times. Instead he always lets me stand on his feet when we dance together so I look like I know what I’m doing. I cried through my entire daughter dance, with my head on his shoulder, my feet on top of his as we counted one, two, three, four. He sang the words of Cheek to Cheek in my ear.
Last year, my birthday was terrible. No one showed up to my party, Guy and I were fighting over something really stupid. I was tired, Harper was teething. I just wanted it to be over. And then a little after 10pm my doorbell rang and my dad was standing on the other side of the door, with flowers and a watercolor painting of Tom and Jerry. I was shocked; hours earlier we had spoken on the phone and he had flippantly mentioned he was on his way. I thought he was joking, sure he was headed home in the opposite direction and then here he was, having spent more than a full day at work and then driving 2 1/2 hours to hug me on my birthday. I was speechless, I forgot to let him in off the porch. He came in, hugged me, drank a diet coke and headed home, like it was just the next block over instead of three hours away.
And of course there is Lake Michigan in a Jar, but that story is for another day.
And so Papa Bear, on this your birthday, I thank God that I get to be yours. All my love, Rachel