Friday, February 1, 2013

.happy birthday dad.

thank you for
starting every voicemail with
"Hi... this is your Dad! I love you so much!"
(multiple times a week.
every. one.
starts with,
"I love you so much!".)

thank you for
talking about the Beatles so much
that i assumed our family friend John
was John Lennon
until I was like, six;
and that once you tried to understand how i feel during worship music at church
by comparing it to how you feel listening to Paul McCartney.

thank you for
thinking i am so much more
and funny
than i really am.
it's so great... please don't stop.

thank you that
every time someone says something nice about one of us,
instead of saying,
"Oh, thanks."
"Well, I'm glad she's polite for you",
you say
"I know! Isn't she wonderful??!!"

thank you for
your excellent one-liners
even in times of tension.
a particular recent favorite:
"I'm sorry, I didn't expect you to be so upset!
I said 'go to therapy', not 'go to hell'!".

thank you for
always wanting to hear
what i'm learning in school
and being so so excited
i am going into psychology.

thank you for
going to the same restaurant
for lunch
every single day
and ordering the same thing
every single time
for years and years.
the servers love you.
the manager loves you.
and i love your steadiness and predictability.
i am slightly concerned that if they ever close,
you will starve to death.
but we can worry about that later.

thank you for
teaching us that you should always
tip at least 20%.

thank you for
printing and mailing out to all of our friends and family
a Christmas card which read
"Peace on Earth, Goodwill to All, and Don't Forget To Vote Democrat in 2012!!".
you're ridiculous.
and i love that you and mom taught us to be concerned for the needs of the voiceless.

on the Christmas front,
thank you for
making sure, should anyone be giving out prizes for most unique Christmas Eve,
we would have won this year.
with your careful selection of our cozy family movie to watch:
Lost in Translation
(wikipedia's explanation: "explores themes of loneliness, insomnia, existential ennui, and culture shock against the backdrop of a modern Japanese city.")
you're right,
White Christmas or A Miracle on 34th Street
would have just been cliche.

thank you for
this line in an email,
which i just found when i was looking for pictures
and made me crack up:
"Life should be a frolic, at least in spirit, if possible while meeting our responsibilities."
...duly noted.

thank you
that our best dates have always been and will always be
hanging out for hours in a bookstore.

thank you that
every time we see a family with little kids
you always say
"don't you remember that?
you were like that yesterday!".

thank you for
being so, so thrilled with your present from me this year,
a trip for the two of us to take,
even though you, um, have to pay for it.
i feel so lame,
and yet you really are so thrilled.
it's pretty cute.

thank you that
you read Sherlock Holmes to me
as bedtime stories.

thank you for
the only good advice i've ever heard
for a miserable emotional 8th grader.
you sat with me at the kitchen table as i cried
in thirteen-year-old woe,
holding my hand and looking even sadder than i was,
saying over and over,
"I promise, this too shall pass."
i still try to remember it
on the (extremely rare) occasion i'm ever emotional now, too.

thank you for
your response to the email
i sent you and mom during my cognitive therapy class this fall,
which read only:
"acceptance and commitment therapy is so how you guys parented us".
you wrote back immediately,
"Yay! Thanks Em! We love you soooooo much!"
assuming i had clearly meant it as a high compliment.
('acceptance and commitment therapy'
is a technique defined by increased
"awareness of the here and now, experienced with openness, interest and receptiveness".)
number one,
we are the weirdest family i know;
number two, thank you.

thank you for
the Beatles
Abraham Lincoln
the Beatles
the Beatles
bike trips
the Beatles
Chipotle (which you pronounce Chi-pote-LAY even though your pre-teen and teen
the Beatles
the Beatles
and us.

(i do know you love us more than the Beatles.
i respect their place as a strong second.)

happy birthday!!!
i love you sooooo much
and i am so glad you are mine.

1 comment:

Eleanor said...

just lovely. now i want to know your dad, too. sounds like he's the kind of parent i aim to be.

Human Needs Global Resources Covenant, 2009

As fellow travelers on this journey, we commit to this covenant before God. Lord, in Your mercy, hear these our prayers:

When confronted with scarcity, need, and inadequacy, may we be nourished by the Bread of Life and the Cup of Salvation. Abundance overflows from Your table, sustaining all who come in faith. Father, help us.

When monotony blurs our vision and dulls our senses, may we encounter others as Christ did, through intentional presence in daily life, submitting as clay to be formed into vessels filled with the Spirit. Christ, guide us.

When wounded by the fractured condition of Your people, may we be united by Your Lordship in faith, hope, and love; seeing, as through the facets of a diamond, the beautiful spectrum of Your light reflected onto Your holy Church joined in praise. Spirit, empower us.

When all Creation groans, afflicted by injustice and driven to despair, may the promise of redemption root us in the hope of Your Kingdom: "Behold, I am making all things new!"

Holy Trinity, send us now into the world in peace, and grant us strength and courage to love and serve You with gladness and singleness of heart.