Showing me how to throw a softball. Taking me to Disney World. Teaching me to parallel park. Helping me apply for college. This is just the short list of things you were responsible for doing before I graduated and left for school this time last year. So thank you. You probably don't hear that often enough. Maybe because I didn't say it. . Maybe because my casual ignorance to the importance of the things your do for me caused such a negligence that I felt I didn't need to say it. So thank you. Here are other things I also never told you.
1. I'm sorry.
This one probably needs to be said daily, but let's face it; I'm stubborn and headstrong (wonder where I got that huh?) and I hate admitting that I'm wrong. But I am, quite often, wrong. I can be cranky, I complain, and I'm needy. So I'm sorry for that. And I'm sorry I don't tell you that enough.
2. I actually DO like your dad jokes.
I don't know who, at one point, told you that you were funny. But I actually agree with them. You have kept me laughing for 19 years. I describe you to my friends as "hilarious". I'm not unconvinced that in another life you couldn't have been a stand-up comedian. However, as for the times when you decide to dance randomly in public, I am reminded that you are NOT as gifted in that area. Remind to find out who told you that you were a good dancer. They need to have their eyes checked.
3. You gave me the strength to stand alone.
You made me work for things. You instilled in me the ability to do things on my own. I am responsible because you made me that way. Your request that I learn to do certain things on my own was tantamount to telling me that I could do anything. And because of you, I believe that.
4. But I still need you sometimes.
And I take comfort in knowing that you'll be there if I do. Whether it's asking you to come visit and take me to my favorite Mexican restaurant because I'm a poor, hungry, college student, or when I'm confused about my major and my future, you'll come through for me.
5. I respect the way you treat people.
Your everyday interactions with people -- salesmen, coaches, parking lot attendants, everyone, were a model for me to follow. You remember the waiter's name and refer to them as such. You treat people with parity, equality. You taught me to do the same.
6. I appreciate the life you gave me.
You spent long hours at the office and weeks out of town on business to give me, Mom, and my siblings the life you wanted us to have. I have gotten to experience, do, and see so much because of you.
7. You have no idea what your approval means to me.
That's why I asked if you liked the dress I bought for my senior prom. It's why I needed to know what you thought when I declared my major. I want your opinion.
8. Thank you for giving me your time.
You never failed to play baseball after dinner when asked. You made countless stacks of pancakes every other Saturday. You played Monopoly with me even when I knew you'd rather be watching golf. You listened when I wanted to talk. I can't thank you enough for that.
9. Thank you for your honesty.
You've always told me the truth about the hard questions I've asked, about your opinion on my new shoes--- about everything.
10. You'll always be the first and most important guy in my life.
I needed you every day for the last 19 years, and I'm going to need you every day for the rest of my life. That isn't ever going to change.
Thanks Dad, you really do rock.