Today marks the 60th anniversary of the day my father was born, otherwise known as his 60th birthday. That’s 60% of the way to 100. If his age were a test score he would still have an F. Only 10 more years to a D-. Since he often remarks on my lack of blog postings and how much he enjoys the writings of his children, I figured the perfect gift for such an occasion would be a blog post dedicated to him.
I learned a lot of things from my dad: fishing, canoeing, bowling, song leading, basketball, baseball, English, history to name a few. If I were to speculate on one thing he would be most proud to have passed on it would be my proper use of the subjunctive mood in my writing.
I remember my sophomore basketball season when he travelled to every one of my away games. Some of my best memories are of the canoe trips along the Minnesota/Canadian border where we fished, hiked, swam, bathed in waterfalls, drank bug juice, watched for planes dipping their wings signaling it was OK to build a fire.
Some things I most certainly did not pick up from my dad are his love of westerns, musicals, and deviled eggs.
Growing up, most teenagers think their parents will never understand them and the parents feel the same way. Having become a father myself, I have a much greater appreciation for the time, effort, and enormous sacrifices that go into being a parent. I also better understand the personal inadequacies and insecurities that challenge both fatherhood and manhood. Sometimes it’s all a parent can do to hope that their kids grow up to not be a serial killer or thief much less a well adjusted, productive member of society. Somehow my dad managed to not screw up 4 times over resulting in 4 Christian families. May we all be so lucky and blessed.
Finally, I have no idea how many of my diapers my dad changed, but my hope and desperate prayer is that in the next 60 years of his life I never have to change one of his.
Happy birthday, Dad! Here’s to the next 60.