Today is my dad's birthday--and I haven't even put a card in the mail. But here's why: He and my mom are going to be here ONE WEEK FROM TOMORROW for Thanksgiving and we are going to wait and celebrate in person. I figure in person more than makes up for a week late.
I haven't seen my dad since we moved more than four months ago. And you'd better believe I'm ready for a visit. We're going to sit outside around the chiminea every night after dinner and catch up and play cards and just be together. And we'll probably do some exploring around Phoenix--because my dad loves to go do new things.
I can hardly wait.
I don't have many pictures of my dad--somehow he's usually the one behind the camera. But here are a few...
Dad, Kristen, and me, sailing to Catalina, 1970s
Audrey, Dad, and the rocket they built together (And just like that hat says, he is the world's "#1 Papa"!)
Dad teaching Audrey the rules at a USAFA football game
Dad teaching Emma to dance
As I look at these pictures, I see something so clearly about my dad. He is a teacher.
He is patient and willing to take the time to explain things clearly and carefully--again and again--until his student gets it. He's not easily frustrated or flustered by taking something complicated and breaking it down to teach it in little pieces.
We laugh at the way he can turn the round dinner table, an apple (carved to look like the earth), and anything else on hand into a working model of the solar system to explain geosyncritist orbit (though he never explained how to SPELL it!). Or knives, forks, and salt and pepper shakers into a map of the United States.
He loves to learn and loves to share with others what he's learned.
He loves to explore places and ideas and bring others along in his discoveries.
It's funny, because those very things sometimes (okay, often!) drove me crazy as a kid. ("Another museum, Dad? Another cathedral? Can't we just play on the playground a while?") But my life is so much richer, so much fuller because of how God made my dad.
He is a godly man. A faithful husband. A hard worker. A gifted thinker. A thoughtful dad. A fantastic grandfather. God blessed our family in him.
I love you, Dad. Thanks for being who you are. And I'm so glad you're mine. There's no one I would rather call "Dad."