Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Slice of Life Seven - Happy Birthday

 Slice of Life is sponsored every Tuesday by Stacey and Ruth from Two Writing Teachers. For the month of March we are challenging ourself to write a Slice A Day. Here we go! 

My dad and I in 1974
Today is my dad’s birthday. I was reminded of this via a text from my brother last night. I quickly looked at my calendar; it wasn’t really March 7th already, was it? I’m not sure where the time has gone. And though it will embarrass my dad greatly, my slice today will focus on him.

A letter I saved from my dad while
I was at my first camp, 1985.
There is a quote that hangs above the door to my classroom, I tell my students to look at it each day as they walk out, “What do you do when no one is watching?” I tell them that our actions speak louder than our words. We can say we stand up for underdogs, that we are honest, loyal – but it is through our actions that we really see what people are made of. There is no one I know that embodies this principle more than my dad.

My parents are the perfect match in many ways. My mom talks a lot, my dad very little. What he says, therefore, has weight. You listen. He also works extremely hard. He is a lawyer and built up his own firm with his friend, Tom. He worked so hard that he often wasn’t around during the day. There is a long standing joke in my family that my mom took us to the pool every day, all summer long, year in, year out. However I still remember the day that my dad came to the pool to see us and dove in the water. My mom jokes that he was there for less than twenty minutes but we all remember it.

My dad with Luke on
Luke's first Canoe Trip.
While my dad is a great father, friend, and lawyer, he’s also an amazing storyteller. I’m not sure if that is part of the genes passed down in our Irish DNA, but I love listening to his stories. From the farm growing up, to college, to my childhood, and beyond – he brings you right in.  We host Christmas Eve at my house every year and this year I watched as my dad told story after story while my son, Luke, sat long after I thought he would get up, soaking it all in.
My amazing family

So on his 65th birthday I’d like to say thanks. Thanks for being an excellent role model to us all, children and grandchildren alike. Thanks for reminding us that family is the most important priority in our lives. Thanks for telling great stories, jokes that make me laugh until I cry, and motivating me to do more, be more. Next Guinness is on me.