My birthday was June 12th. For some reason I have always loved birthdays. Not just mine (which are pretty awesome) but other people's birthdays as well. There is something so great about picking out the perfect gift for a friend or loved one and knowing that they are going to LOVE it or use it for a long time! You always hear people say "it is better to give than to receive" and while I don't really know if "better" is the exact word I would use, it is still a pretty darn good feeling.
June is a big month for my family. My mom, dad, and I all have birthdays in June so it's a pretty big deal. My dad has always made sure my mom's birthday is a big deal--usually he whisks her off to some foreign land like Destin or Eufaula. A few years ago we even got some of my aunts and uncles together for a dinner cruise on the Lady Anderson in Panama City for her birthday. My mother does not let anyone forget her birthday is approaching and she certainly isn't too shy to go purchase her own birthday present!
So really, when you consider the antics of the lady who birthed me, it is no wonder I am the way I am. (And unfortunately this is not the only trait I got from her--my "mouthiness" as my dad says, my smile, my weininess as my husband says....the list goes on) When you couple my mother's genes with the fact that I am the youngest grandchild (on both sides) and the only little girl (on both sides) it is amazing that I'm not a walking poster child for "Spoiled Rotten Only Child." (But don't ask my dad cause he will say I coined that phrase!) I guess it is my parent's fault because they always made my birthday such a wonderful day. I always had a pool party, spend-the-night party, or skating party or some kind of party with all of my friends.
But today is the day to put aside my birthday and my mother's birthday. Because today is my dad's birthday--June 24, 1892. Haha--just kidding! It was actually 1902.
My daddy is hands down the greatest man that ever lived. He is kind, funny, sincere, honest, loving, handsome, unselfish, respected...he is every good adjective I can't think of at this exact moment. He is the most selfless provider and protector a family could hope for, and it is no stretch to say that he is the backbone, heart, and checkbook of our family. As far as I know, my dad has never been wrong. And he prides himself on this record. As a matter of fact, he is famous for telling me, "If I tell you the moon is made of cheese, you better bring crackers when you go!" He can beat me at anything. Even being 35 years older than me, he can beat me at running, climbing, push ups, checkers, Monopoly, washing dishes, jokes, etc. If there is any sort of competition he will not only beat me, but beat me happily. And then he will make fun of me at family outings and get-togethers for losing to an old man like himself. Needless to say, I never got to celebrate a Candyland or Old Maid victory in my childhood. And I'm still bitter. To be completely honest, the only thing I can beat my dad at is spelling. Which by the way, he thinks is hilarious. (Because apparently being a good speller does not a champion make) In the tournament bracket of life in my family, the rankings are as follows: 1. Dad 2. Me 3. Mom.
I truly wish that every person in the world (especially little girls) could have a father like mine. He was tough on me growing up because he expected the absolute best from me. My dad never gives less than his best, even if it means shaming his 3-year-old daughter at Candyland. Or his 26-year-old daughter at Spades. He is the type of man whose character is evident with every breath he takes or smile he gives.
Simply put, he is my hero.
Even though my parents don't even have the internets (I'm sorry-I can't help a good Dubya joke!) I wanted to put this out there. If you see him around town, give him a hug and tell him "Happy Birthday!" And tell him he's lucky to have a daughter that isn't in therapy after all those years of losing.
Happy Birthday Daddy!