Friday, October 17, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dad

Today my Dad turns 74. He is an amazing guy. A few months back, at my Writing Group, we were given a writing prompt that asked us to write about our fathers. I relished the opportunity, composing the following:

My dad is the kind of dad most daughters only dream of having. Of course, I didn't realize that when I was young. I naively believed that every little girl found her father's arms to be the safest place in the whole wide world. I assumed that every father made up love songs with their daughters' names, patiently tied their pretty sashes just so, and tucked them in each night with a kiss and a prayer.

In retrospect, I should have realized my dad's uniqueness back in grade school, when he would come and eat lunch with me in my school cafeteria. He would come from work, wearing his pinstriped suits and wing-tip shoes, and sit at a little table in chair so small that the knees of his long legs were practically touching his ears. And believe it or not, I had to fight to get to sit next to him because every kid in my class wanted to sit by Mr. Dennis, with his shiny bald head, rosy cheeks, easy smile, and warm touches. But somehow I didn't notice that mine was the only father who showed up for lunch at Locke Hill Elementary.

My dad is the father of five daughters, and never--not once--did any of the five of us hear him speak of wanting it any other way. He delighted in his girls so much that we were always confused by the sympathetic looks and comments he got from fathers with sons.

My dad loved us BIG, naturally instilling in us something that other people struggle to learn, which is to receive big love. Your-name-in-a-song kind of love. Love like, well, like God's love. After all, the Bible says that HE rejoices over us with singing. Thanks to my dad, that isn't hard for me to believe at all.

I love you, Dad--and Happy Birthday!

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