It's My Dad's Birthday
I have told him a bunch of times, but I don't think I've ever mentioned it to you, Blog Readers. I think that I may be one of the only people in America who don't have Father "Issues".
Mind you I'm not blaming all the father's in America for the problems they've caused -- certainly there have been plenty of cultural forces that have made fatherhood a very unstable, dynamic and confusing phenomena over the past fifty or sixty years.
So the fact that my dad has managed to somehow sail through this turbulence without really giving me any father "issues" at all? Is really remarkable.
My dad has always been deeply interested in and invested in me. He has cared about my success, celebrated my efforts and achievements, asked about my everyday life and supported me when life has been overwhelming.
My dad has always maintained a uniquely helpful equilibrium between confidence and humility. As a son I have always been much more aware of the humility. He never resorted to appeals - to - authority to explain a decision or make a command. He regularly asked for forgiveness or admitted flawed thinking. As an adult, though, I have been more aware of how his confidence -- ambition, hard-work and sociability -- though they are not traits that he would even claim as high values -- have helped me succeed as an adult.
My dad has always been growing. Even now, in the later years of his career, he works hard to try new things, to listen to more voices. He reads voraciously and he tries to develop his own strengths and weaknesses. So many men grow tired in life and become dull and passive; while he often gets tired in the evening and nods off a little bit....he has not tired of life.
I'm not only the lucky guy in America without father issues....that would suggest a kind of zero sum experience. I'm also the lucky and grateful guy in America who has a great dad and is celebrating that today, on his birthday.
Happy Birthday, Dad.