Thursday, January 21, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dad

Today is Dad's birthday.  I'm not telling which one, but trust me when I tell you that he doesn't look his age.  He doesn't like celebrating his birthday much.  I, however, like celebrating my Dad.  I got a good one. 

Dad has a brother who is 17 years younger.  My uncle frequently gets mistaken for my dad-and has for years.  The uncle isn't too crazy about it.  (Gee, I wonder why!) Actually, it's a compliment to both of them:  Dad because he looks so young, and my uncle because Dad's a pretty handsome guy!  Actually, if twins could be born 17 years apart--these two could be twins.  They look and sound alike.  The uncle faked being my dad for years when the girls were little.  They'd go to him when they were afraid of most people.  They thought they were sitting on Grandpa's lap, so no tears!

Dad was actually the oldest of nine.  Five (!) sisters came next.  The three younger brothers didn't arrive until Dad was almost out of the house.  (My two brothers are the same age or close in age to his two youngest brothers.)  I have a theory that Dad was the idolized only son for quite awhile.  (And maybe a bit spoiled.)  Of course, the aunts and my dad remember it quite differently.  He remembers his sisters getting into his things and bothering him all the time.  The aunts remember Grandma always taking his side.  My guess is that somewhere in between lies the truth.

Dad went on to have four kids of his own.   (Two older brothers and a younger sister) I'm his favorite.  (That's my story and I'm sticking to it!)  Actually, I was usually the one sent to negotiate with him when we were in trouble.  I also was the one elected to get him in a better mood when he was a bit irate.  (I was actually pretty good at my job most of the time.)  The brothers said I was spoiled.  I like to think  I was his easiest child to raise.  (That might be stretching it a bit.) 

Dad and I are alike in some ways:  huge heads (literally!), rapid speech, and high foreheads.  Dad was an English teacher at one time.  He did a lot of "crunch time" grading.  So do I.  We both like to read.

I sometimes think that Dad is healthier than I am.  He only needs glasses for reading.  I need them for distance and reading.  His hearing is better than mine; however, his might be a bit more selective!  Of course, I had the stroke.  About the only health problems I remember him having is stepping on a rusty nail (that one caused some problems!) and his having the hiccups for about 3 days one time.  That's it.  He's always been incredibly healthy.  It's a good thing because he hates to go to the doctor.  (I'm not fond of it myself.)

These are some things Dad encouraged:
*Getting involved in debate classes
*Playing the piano and a band instrument
*Writing thank you notes
*Not watching TV  (He hated it!)
*Sewing  (He would let us buy all the fabric and patterns we wanted, but there was a definite budget for pre-made clothes.)
*Going to college 

As parents go, I have always felt fortunate.  They sacrificed a lot for us.  They loved us enought to be strict.  They didn't tolerate rude, selfish, lazy, dishonest, or unkind behavior. I've always known the manners I learned as a kid would see me through, and that I know how to conduct myself in any situation.  That's about the best gift that you can give a child. 

Happy Birthday, Dad!  (And it's OK to admit that I'm your favorite child!!! Those other 3 will never know! It can be our little secret!)

Top Photo-  Me with Dad 3 years ago
Middle Photo-  Two years ago
Bottom Photo-  With K and L a year ago


Anonymous said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Uncle H from your FAVORITE NIECE!!! YES you can admit THAT TOO!! Love you & YOUR favorite daughter!!! R

FlowerLady said...

What a wonderful, loving tribute to your Dad. You are both blessed to have each other.

Happy Birthday to your Dad.


ELK said...

so very are blessed mrs e

Cousin Amy said...

I'M the FAVORITE NIECE...nice try, R!! Happy Birthday Uncle H...we love you!!

I can find a picture of my dad if you want to do a comparison sometime. I think they could be twins, too! Cousin A

Bren said...

What a wonderful blog entry... this is why your blog is my favorite. YOU ARE SO REAL and your honesty shines through. Happy Birthday to your Dad. He has a wonderful young lady for a daughter -but you don't need me to tell you that!

Happy Garden Sharing!

Mrs. E said...

Oooh A. I would love it!

puna said...

awww...happy birthday dad! Your relationship is an inspiration.

Gayle said...

Happy Birthday to your dad!!! He is a very handsome man!

Katie @ Can't Get There said...

Happy Birthday to your dad! That was a beautiful tribute! I always wanted a dad like that! You are all very lucky and what's even better - I think you know it! :)

Debbie said...

What a wonderful tribute. He looks wonderful, you are very lucky. I hope he has a wonderful birthday.

Shannon said...

Sweet post! Happy Birthday to your Dad! Looks like you have a good gene pool there. Dads are pretty special, eh? Makes me a little teary for some reason.

Anonymous said...

Bet his birthdays are all happy! He's lucky to have such a thoughtful, perceptive, emotional, kalideoscopic little princess!!!!