Little did I realize when I posted my tribute to my Mother last night that today, my father would demand equal time.
It IS his birthday, after all - so I guess it's only fair that he get his own posting about how much he ROCKS and how awesomely terrific he is.
If a stranger were to sit down with me one day and say, "Tell me about your dad - what makes him special?", I'd have to answer with the following:
My Dad has always been hands-on. There are numerous photos of us together when I was a wee, little toddler, where I'm sitting on his lap as he reads me books. He'd read them over and over and over again...which leads me to mention how patient he has always been.
And I'm sure, with three kids, that we tested his patience.
Especially my younger brother and sister, because, really, I'm practically perfect in every way, and so I am sure that I never personally tested his patience. Not at all. Ever.
Daddy always expected the best from us - there was never any question that I was to bring home anything but good grades - OR ELSE. I never wanted to find out what that "OR ELSE" was - because if Daddy was mad, that was a bad, bad thing.
Not that he was ever mad at me, because again - I was practically perfect in every way - so whatever memories I have of my Dad being mad are probably false memories....right?
Dad was my softball coach for many, many years...our team was named the Tuffy Tigers, and we were pretty darn good.
I used to think that was because all of us girls were so amazingly talented, but looking back, I'd probably have to give some of the credit to my dad's amazingly talented coaching skills.
Dad would never hear the excuse, "But we're girls...we can't play like that!" or anything similar along those lines.
Nope. Not at all.
He expected us to play like the major-league professional big boys - whether it was bunting, stealing, suicide squeezes, hit-and-run plays - or even switch-hitting.
He once had me switch-hit in a crucial game, and to my amazement - and probably his, as well - I hit a double. Huh. I didn't know I had it in me.
Dad kept statistics on every player on the team, and he'd analyze and strategize before every game...which led to us winning the city championship when I was 16.
I think the girls on the team worshipped the ground that he walked on after that. And who could blame them?
Yeppers, my Dad is pretty special. His expectations were always high, but he knew - with the right amount of support and guidance and direction - that our goals could, and would, be met.
Even as we've all gotten older and wiser and had kids of our own, my Dad still holds us to high standards...and that's a good thing. That part of him will never change - and I wouldn't want it to.
Happy 69th birthday, Dad!