I wanted to do something big and exciting for his birthday like a party with friends or something but was pretty much shot down by the others who would have been involved in the planning. They also said he would not like that or care about having a party or anything It just seems like this is an occasion to be commemorated.
My birthday wish for my dad today is this: that he take more time to enjoy his life. He has worked exceptionally hard all his life to get where he is now. I think he deserves a break. He has a plan to get to retirement (my dad has nothing if not plans...one of his favorite catch phrases when I was growing up was "Plan your work and work your plan.") but still works hard and gets too stressed out too often. Don't get me wrong...he travels for pleasure a great deal but he still "works" on these trips. I wish he let out more of his fun side more often and worried less. I cannot tell you the last time I have seen him do a napkin magic trick or hang a spoon from his nose :) I wish he had more time to spend with his grandchildren; I want them to be able to have lifelong memories of doing fun things with him.
I am also discouraged by the lack of time he takes to take care of himself. I don't want him to be old and decrepit. He has worked long and hard and I want him to be able to enjoy the "golden years" without a gazillion medical ailments. Plus, I don't want to have to take care of him! Ha ha!
I am proud of my dad and how he has gotten to where he is now. I am grateful for the way he and my mom raised me to turn out the way I have. I am touched by the way he cares for those who work for him, even though he does not always say it out loud, but shows it in little ways.
I know he has always been there for me from showing me how to ride my bike while throwing snails at me. Or instructing me on how to best clean and organize my closet all day on a Saturday (he needs to come teach my daughter that!). Or showing me how to find the best "deal" at the K-mart tent sale. Or dealing with some of my crazier adventures in high school. Or even now with something as simple as taking my family on a vacation we would not otherwise have been able to go on. My dad does not often express his love verbally. But he does show it in his never failing support of me, despite the crazy situation I am in or if I got there making decisions he did not necessarily approve of. I am thankful I have had him as my dad.
I hope this birthday is fabulously wonderful and that there are 40 more to come. I love you, Dad.