To Dad, on his birthday (since I can’t be there to say it in person)

Dear Dad:

Thank you for letting me blog about you, even though you hate it the most. The internet is a richer place with “Amy’s Dad” a part of it (whether you think it’s imaginary or not.)

Thank you for sending me money even though I’m way too old to be sent money because you know I’m poor and need it but way too proud to ask for it.

Thank you for making me laugh so hard I wheeze a little.

Thank you for explaining things in such a way I understand them, but never sounding condescending about them, even though they’re things that you probably think any moron should be able to figure out, like replacing a shower head or gluing a chair leg back on a chair so it doesn’t wobble.

Thank you for knowing when I need a shoulder to cry on and when I alternately need someone to tell me I’m being ridiculous.

Thank you for letting us believe in magic as long as we could, and then even a little longer than we should have, just because it kept us young at heart.

Thank you for instilling in me a work ethic, a strong backbone, sarcasm that could cut a lesser man to ribbons, and a moral compass that forbids me to use it for evil (most of the time.)

Thank you for knowing that even though sometimes we yell at each other until our faces get red and we get spitty, it’s only because we’re so damn similar we cause friction, and not because we don’t love and respect each other a ton.

Thank you for remembering things that make me laugh and bringing them up when I need to hear them the most.

Thank you for being patient the time I couldn’t figure out forward rolls in gym class and showing me how to do them over and over at home until I could do them on my own so the kids stopped laughing at me the next time we had gym.

Thank you for insisting I knew math was as important as English, and for drilling me on the multiplication table and quadratic equations until I’m pretty sure I could do them in my sleep.

Thank you for always taking us on the teacups at the amusement park and just making those things FLY, even though you spent the rest of the day with a headache because things that spin make you sick.

Thank you for understanding, when I just give you a single look, how very, very annoyed I am with a situation, and, by returning a similar look, that you’re feeling the same way.

Thank you for never treating me like a girl, except for the times I needed to hear I looked pretty. And those times, thank you for always telling me I looked pretty. Even when I didn’t look pretty. Like in the 80s. Tall bangs were NOT my friend. It’s ok to admit it now.

Thank you for always telling people how proud you are of me. That gets back to me, even when you don’t think it will.

Thank you for sitting through more plays than I can count, even though you hate plays more than you hate almost anything, just because I was in them. And thank you for always bringing flowers, and for always telling me how good I was. Even when I wasn’t that good.

Thank you for being very, very patient when I was learning to ride a bike, because listen, that could NOT have been easy, as ungainly as I am. Good grief.

Thank you for reading things I wrote and telling me, “You’re the best writer I’ve ever read,” and not just saying it, but really meaning it, because you’re the audience I’ll always be trying to impress, until the day I die, whether you’re reading what I write or not.

Thank you for not only being my father, but being my dad. There’s a difference, you know. There’s a huge difference.

Oh, and thank you for not killing me for putting your photo on the internet. I know, I know, “now the government can track me, what the HELL were you THINKING?” Sorry. (If it helps, they might not be able to track us. We don’t look much like this anymore.)

Happy birthday, Dad. Love you.

Love, Amy.

About lucysfootball

I'm not the girl with the most cake. Someday. SOMEDAY. View all posts by lucysfootball

28 responses to “To Dad, on his birthday (since I can’t be there to say it in person)

  • Andreas Heinakroon

    Got a bit misty-eyed there for a moment, I’m not too proud to admit it. And I hope I can be half the dad your dad’s been for you for my little girl when she grows up.


    • lucysfootball

      Good! I LOVE to make people cry. Only a teeny more than I love to make people laugh. :)

      And Andreas, if I know a single thing in the world, it is that you will be an amazing, wonderful, kick-ass dad, and your daughter will someday do such brilliant things. We will all be in awe of her. And she’ll be telling everyone, “I owe it all to my dad.” (And of course her mom. Can’t minimize the importance of her mom!)


  • borkadventures

    Oh I love this! There’s something about Dads and daughters–a special connection.

    I particularly appreciated your consideration of your Dad’s insistence that you be good at both Math and English! English always came easy to me, so I spent most of my adolescent years at the kitchen table with my Dad doing algebra, geometry, trig, and eventually Calculus problems until 10:30 every night. My dad still sends me math and science-related articles and wants me to consider shifting to teaching math!

    It sounds like your dad was and is very supportive of you. We’re lucky girls to have such good dads!


  • Roz

    Lovely tribute and happy birthday to your father!

    Please tell your dad that there’s a Twitter hashtag honoring him now. (#AmysDad).


  • Mer

    All the cake to Amy’s dad. (Or whatever he wants today.) Lovely.


    • lucysfootball

      Thank you! You know what’s the worst? He can’t even HAVE cake! His birthday’s right in the middle of Lent and he doesn’t eat a million things during Lent, one of which is desserts! Poor guy. He has to wait til Easter to eat anything cake-related!


  • Rich Crete

    This imaginary interweb being sends b-day wished to Amy’s Dad.
    Since today is your birthday you can watch all the Fox News without feeling like a schloob. Just today.


  • sj

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AMY’S DAD! (and thanks for thinking I’m wise for figuring out the thing with the Russians and Helper Mule)

    Gosh, I am a little teary reading this too. My dad is still one of my best friends and he always will be. Dads are the best.

    I’m sorry he’s spending his birthday building a barn for a helper mule that won’t show up. :(


    • lucysfootball

      He got out of building the barn! Apparently the person who had the lumber never showed up. (How bad do you feel for the guy who’s not only waiting for the MIA Helper Mule, but now for the barn lumber guy? He’s the saddest!)

      I told him the whole internet wished him a happy birthday. He said, “You didn’t tell them where I LIVE, did you? I don’t want them coming here.” No. No, Dad. No one’s coming there. You’re safe.


  • jbrown3079

    Reading anything you wrote about your dad, I could see the love . This was very sweet.


  • Kris Rudin

    Yup: any man can be a father, but it takes a Real Man to be a DAD!

    I’m so glad you have such a great dad! Those of us who do are the really lucky ones! I adore my dad to pieces!!

    I’m gladnyou braved his ire to share your feelings with us. Nice post!


  • greengeekgirl

    I am doing all the crying today. I love this post.


  • Mister Doctor Professor Susurrus M. Chiaroscuro, Esquire

    And thank you most of all for shaving your pornstache off after the 70’s ended.

    Sorry. . . i got a little misty, and I had to defuse the tension a little.

    Wait. . . did. . . did he shave it? Because if he didn’t shave it, it TOTALLY looks good on him.

    dance recitals, violin recitals. . . flowers. . . My oldest is trying out for the 4th grade talent show. I was thinking. . . when’s the talent show so I can go see her? But it’s like WHOA. . . too fast there pardner. . . she’s TRYING OUT for the talent show because it’s the 4th, 5th, and 6th graders all trying out for 20 slots in this entire thing. And it is no slam dunk when there are a few hundred acts trying out. So what is she going to do, Amy?

    She’s decided to sing “Defying Gravity”. Of course she is. . .

    When I try to be a “good dad” I think of my dad. And when you write about your dad, I see my dad in my mind. He sounds like a good dad. Like my dad.

    I’ll be so proud of Emma if she makes the talent show. . . because that means others will recognize her singing and think she’s got “talent” or whatever. But I’m MOST proud that, with very little ‘percentage’ in it, she’s going to get on stage and audition. . . SOLO. . . DEFYING GRAVITY. . . for faculty. *shakes head*. . . she didn’t get it from ME.

    Literally, I’m probably proudest of her when she tries to do something she ISN’T perfect at. When she challenges herself and her comfort zone.

    Reading what you wrote above, I’ll bet even when your performances sucked out loud (if such a thing is possible for someone like you) the fact that you got up in front of everyone and did it is what made your dad proudest.


    • lucysfootball

      Ha! He totally did. The pornstache is gone. There was a full beard for a while, but now he’s mostly bald. I like to pick on him about it. He loves that. In a “I hate that so much Amy STOP IT!” kind of way.

      I MADE JIM CRY A LITTLE! This is total revenge for all the times YOU’VE made me cry on YOUR blog. WIN!

      We’ve already discussed this at length because I couldn’t wait til tonight to share my complete and total excitement over Emma and her amazingness and her bravery so anything else I say here is just reiteration, but DAMN I adore your kids.

      (And, thanks. I think I was a decent actress; at least that’s the feedback I got. But when I started, I’m pretty sure I did, in fact, suck right out loud. But Dad was there! And mostly he was amazed his little quiet mouse of a daughter – because there was a time I was this quiet little thing who wouldn’t say a word in front of anyone, ever – was not only willing, but EAGER to get up on stage in front of a crowd and act her face off. I think it still amazes him to this day. He always laughs when I have to get up on stage and talk at the theater and wonders how I can do something like that. I’ll let everyone in on a secret – I pretend I’m brave. It works every time.)


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