happy (belated) father’s day

Yesterday I received the most wonderful email from my dad. Written to all three of his children and their significant others, he said that as he was thinking about being “dad” it got him to thinking about just how proud he was of each of us. “You are each such solid, impressive, interesting, skilled and engaged people. You are thoughtful, kind, self-aware and world-wise…” he said, and then proceeded to list a few specific examples, for each of us, of our traits and qualities that make him proud of us as individuals.  It was very moving (I’m sure that most of us cried…or at least choked up). There was a string of emails that followed, thanking my dad for his kind words and thoughtful expression of love. I was the last one to respond, but it was not because I wasn’t as moved as everyone else;  it was because I wanted to craft a response that blew everyone else’s out of the water. (“spoken like a true first-born,” my dad replied).
So, in response to my dad’s expression of his pride in me, I want to do the same here. Happy Father’s Day, dad. I love you.

Reasons I’m proud of my dad (in no particular order):

  • He has, from my perspective, continued to follow a career path that (1) he finds fulfilling, (2) allows him to spend time with his family (go to our sporting events, plays, etc), (3) is meaningful to the broader community; work that really makes a difference in the lives of real people. I have always respected that.
  • He sends links to the newest TED videos.
  • He helps us find our own inspiration; he is fully supportive of our process of searching for it, and of our struggle to make it function in our lives.
  • He still water skis.
  • He has what is becoming a kick-ass workshop and willingly agrees to help with any project idea with which we present him. These have included natural wooden baby toys for his grandchildren, the grandchildren of other friends, and the children of my friends, cigar box guitars (this year we attempted three at once!), bookshelves, lacing toys, and a toy kitchen for me (when I was two) and Eleanor (when she turned two). I love his willingness to engage us in these activities and, eh hem, have a few more ideas for you too!
  • He is honest and supportive and will tell you the truth even when the truth is “You’ve disappointed me.” This was, hands down, the worst possible thing I could have heard as a teenager. It was worse than yelling or grounding; it was soul crushing. He didn’t have to say it often {whew}, but when he did you knew he was serious. Looking back on it now, I’m grateful for him telling me, even though it made me horrified and embarrassed and scared at the consequences.
  • He gave Eleanor’s 5′ tall giraffe a ride in the sled that she was afraid to get into; she quickly loved both.
  • He seeks the good in everything, and everyone. Always. It’s his MO. And I think it’s rubbed off on his kids, and I like that about myself.
  • He loves my mom. Immensely. They have a wonderful relationship, which continues to deepen as the years go by. They are fantastic role models for their children.
  • He continues to develop hobbies, and to start new ones.
  • He reads. And listens to the news. And will discuss both with us.
  • He maintains bird feeders and emails photos of the newest visitors.
  • He does home improvement projects- at his house and mine!
  • He comments on my blog {man I love that}!

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4 thoughts on “happy (belated) father’s day

  1. Kiyah,I always enjoy your blog, and I’m not sure I’ve ever posted a comment. You rocked one loose with this entry! Truly a beautiful tribute to your wonderful Dad!
    Dave

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    1. Dave,So wonderful to see a comment from you here. I have heard tell that you are a frequent visitor of the site, but it’s nice to have some hard proof. I guess I’ll have to write more gushing posts about my parents and their dear friends as a way to draw you out!
      Truly, I’m so glad that you enjoyed this.
      -Kiyah

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  2. I’d responded to Kiyah by email, but decided to weigh in here too. I can’t imagine a finer Father’s Day gift than Kiyah’s message . . . I think she’s got a standing pass for having to worry about Father’s Day gifts from here on out!
    I never anticipated the reply messages from all “the kids” after sending my reflections, but they were all truly heart-warming. Each and every one had me choked up and on cloud 9 all at the same time. Now to live up to the hype!

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