Today is my dad’s birthday, and, wanting to give him a present a little more than cookies, I decided to write about him. What better gift could a book worm daughter give to her English geek dad?
To start, my dad is a minister. When I started middle school, I had a few Catholic children ask me how I exist once they found this out (priests are not allowed to have children). I always found that incredibly amusing. I love my dad’s profession; I feel like he really fits it. Sometimes, people shy away from me when they find out, automatically assuming he is a strict hell-and-brimstone preacher. No, my dad is the embodiment of what I love about religion. He is caring, kind, and forgiving–just the opposite of what most people at my liberal school imagine religious leaders to be.
Along with this, my dad holds a characteristic that is very difficult to find in America today: he does not automatically hate anyone who doesn’t agree with him politically. In fact, he often sees politics as a sport. When discussing with someone from the other party, he is civil, certain to see both sides. My dad will acknowledge that the other “team” has a “player” up and coming and will congratulate his colleague on that. Rather than just starting a yelling match like many do now, especially since the election of 2016, he almost always maintains his cool.
He has also inspired me. My dad is smart enough to do just about anything, and even though his parents wanted him to be a doctor or lawyer, he became an English major, pursuing what he loves. He chose passion over financial success. This is encouraging to me, since so often I feel that I am wasting my intelligence on humanities, a less profitable field, and so it must be for the less intelligent. My dad showed me that intelligence cannot be determined by what your job is, but how you perform it.
Lastly, my dad has always been so gentle-hearted. Every night when I was younger, he would stay with me for at least a half hour before bed, singing me songs and telling me made-up stories. I remember grasping his hand when he tried to leave because I was so afraid of being alone in the dark. In 4th grade, I bestowed him with the honor of being my “door in the wall,” the person I can always talk to when there seems to be nowhere else to go. He still is my door in the wall, and always will be.
Happy birthday, Dad. I know a blog post could never truly express all my love for you, but I hope it at least came close.