Every year, Father's Day comes around and I think - it had to have been a day created just for you. I don't know much about Richard Nixon, aside from the obvious, but he somehow must have known what an incredible dad you'd be one day as he made Father's Day into a permanent holiday in 1972.
I think back on all of the laughs, the inside jokes, the adventures, the tickle wars, the secret words derived from a mixture of many languages, and so much more. And my heart feels full. I feel blessed and grateful that the universe brought us together in the bonds of blood and soul.
I look at pictures of myself sometimes and I see you. The same forehead, eyebrows, nose, serious expression. The same look of painful resignation at having to pose for the camera. The same aloofness that shouts to the world, "I can take care of myself," while inside our hearts beat like peaches - soft and easily bruised.
I don't know what I would have done growing up without you. I know I wouldn't be the same person I am today. I was lost for a long time, due to other events and circumstances, and I don't think I would have ever found myself if it wasn't for you. And I know that if I can be half as good a parent as you to my 2 boys, then I think we'll all be doing OK.
And I just want to say thank you. Thank you for so many things. Things that may seem small to some people, but have meant and still mean the world to me.
Thank you for always making me feel heard when I was still trying to find my voice. For always making time for me.
Thank you for your patience with me - whether it was teaching me to ride a bike, or waiting an hour for me to finish dinner.
Thank you for always making me feel safe.
Thank you for teaching me the important things in life. Things like - if you're on time, you're late. Or to always be prepared. Or how life is serious enough, so don't forget to have a sense of humor. Or to have a healthy dose of skepticism, instead of following the crowd. Or how to appreciate good food, good music, and especially good books.
Thank you for never patronizing me and always talking to me and treating me like an adult.
Thank you for: gas station subs; blasting "California" at 4am on a Florida highway; rescuing me from jellyfish; playing "restaurant" with me for hours without ever complaining; burnt pudding; not giving me crap when you were right about dark denim; always being my cheerleader and advocate; picking blackberries; making long walks and long drives to nowhere the most fun I've ever had. This list could go on forever, but I think you get it.
Happy Father's Day to the best father in the world. I hope you put your feet up, read a good book, and relax. Miss you, love you, BIG HUGS.