Yesterday was my Dad’s 60th birthday.
As the man who always wishes for our ‘presence rather than presents’ it makes me sad that I was not with him.
I am extremely lucky to have a Dad who I have always been so close to, metaphorically and literally considering he was my high school geography teacher (there was no getting away with anything!)
He is the man who taught me to stand up for what I believe in and to do something with my life that I enjoy. Both he and my Mum are keen travelers and it is one of the traits I am so glad they instilled in me. When I was six years old we upped and moved to Germany for three years which I can safely say were some of the greatest years of my life. He is always so keen for me to see the world and hear about my travels. I enjoy sending them postcards and photos, partially just to make him jealous!
He is the man that cannot keep still. He always finds some kind of job to do, especially if it can involve him being outside with our dogs. It can sometimes take him a few years to complete the work, but there is always a good story because of it (like the time he tried to remove the false shutters from my window frame leaving bare wall behind it and meant that the one time the fire was lit in the room underneath, my bedroom filled up with smoke).
He is hard working and he is kind. He will lend a hand to anyone and he is an incredible teacher. He may be my Dad and I may be incredibly biased but he works so hard to make sure his students do well.
He is the man that somehow can’t get a photo smiling, but without a camera present has the best laugh. He finds silly things funny and loves to tease us. Some of my favourite memories as a child include him teaching me to ride a bike, opening presents with him on Christmas morning and standing on his feet as he walked around the room (which didn’t last long at the rate in which my body and feet grew!)
Just like other expats I often miss relatives and friends birthdays. It is times like these that are hard. You want to be with them and share their birthday together. Yet, this makes the time you do spend together extra special. Make sure you send a card (which I can so often be bad for because mine are always late!) and write a decent message in it that makes it worth the miles. Send them a silly photo of a memory you spent together that you enjoyed (with bonus points for inside jokes in the attached message to make them laugh)
I may not get to wish my Dad a happy birthday in person this year, but just like he always says “it’s about presence not presents.” He might have to wait a bit, but I’ll see him soon and we’ll be right back to where we left off.
Thanks Dad, you sure are one in million.