Sunday, June 21, 2009

Dear Dad..

I can't actually address this blog post to my dad, because I'm pretty sure he never checks my blog.

Also, he's in Romania for a month. This is good and bad news: Bad because I don't actually get to talk to him on Father's Day, but good because I have a little extra time to send something to his home in Michigan and still have him think the gift was on time. I think he's still waiting for last year's Father's Day gift too, but I'm not sure.

I refuse to buy ties for Father's Day. I think the tie industry is being kept afloat year after year by countless thousands of unimaginative American drones who are convinced that their dad wants, even needs, yet another garish American flag tie. You know you're guilty. (It's also kept afloat by cheap slave labor overseas, but I'll save that for another blog post.)

Now, Father's Day ties come with a personal touch. Several online retailers are offering ties with the photo of your choice printed on them. Your picture, his picture, a picture of Ron Jeremy..the choice is yours. Whatever you do, don't send him a tie with a cartoon of the prophet Muhammad on it.

In all seriousness, I've been blessed with a world-class dad. He's one of the most patient, intelligent, funny, wise, faith-filled, well-balanced people I've ever met. We've climbed at least one mountain together every year since I was old enough to carry a backpack (which, in my family, was around the age of fourteen months).

The best thing about my dad is that he never tried to make my decisions for me. He taught me right and wrong through the way he lived.

I admire the way he's always been so real, so transparent.

I've seen him cry when one of our pets died.

I've seen him scream when our brand-new Ping-Pong table flew off the top of our van and smashed onto the pavement of I-80.

I've been demolished by him on the tennis court. He'll still be kicking my butt from a wheelchair in 30 years.

I've seen him, year after year, simply love my mom, my sister, and me in a remarkable way.

Good dads are hard to come by. If you are fortunate enough to have one, make sure he knows it this Father's Day. Do something meaningful for him, something more than buying that necktie.

If there's someone in your life who has been a father figure, who has ably filled in for the dad who wasn't there, I encourage you to do the same for him and let him know that he's made a difference in your life.

In the words of that timeless commercial:

Dad, you're my dad, and I love you man! This blog's for you.