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.