Today is my Dad’s birthday. I won’t tell you all how old he is, as he may not want my five loyal readers to know his age…Nah he won’t care, he’s seventy two. He’s a pretty awesome, sometimes irritating but still rather remarkable seventy two. Now I’m in my early twenties, so that makes him on average around ten – twenty years older than most of my friend’s fathers. – Which of course now I don’t even think about, but back at school this was something of an issue for me. My dad was old. One girl actually commented on his oldness. (We were about nine and I was deeply hurt by her insensitive comments, but it was fine because I had way more friends than she did and they all gathered round to console me with hugs and kind words..I’m almost certain someone else made her cry the following week…What goes around!..).
As an adolescent, my patience often wore thin (okay it became non-existent and I lost my s***) at his slowness, lack of technological knowledge, and general old-person’s grumpiness. Why couldn’t he be like the other Dads that used mobile phones and wore jeans? Why was he always in the house? Why did he get ill all the time? (Dad suffers from manic depression, but that’s really another post, or book, altogether).
So we had a rather rocky relationship for a number of years, mainly as I grew from confused anxious teenager to confused sexually active young adult and swiftly onto confused young single mother. But I like to think things have settled down. We don’t shout at each other now..as much. (What can I say, we’re a vocal family, we (I) like to get everything out in the open, thou shalt not bottle thy feelings!!…And one shouldn’t leave the milk out anyway!)
We talk, a lot, about everything. I ask a lot of questions. What used to be boring politics programmes, I now find interesting, last night I unintentionally sat and watched Question Time with him, I didn’t even notice I was hooked. He educates me on finance, politics, history, worldly things in general, and I help him switch the computer off and occasionally tie his shoe laces when he’s got a bad back.
But what I treasure more than anything he teaches me, from general knowledge to all round how to be a decent human being; is that he’s always there. I will forever cherish his continuous presence in my life. I could talk to him about anything and I know he’ll always support me. He has the kindest heart of all. Often I do think to myself “God, you’re really great aren’t you..”. Which is often shortly followed by “Mum, oh my God he’s SO ANNOYING..”…Nothing’s perfect.
I suppose that’s the message. Your parents are not perfect, but appreciate them anyway, as much or as little as they say or do for you. (I mean you wouldn’t exist without them so…)
Today I am so proud to say my Dad turned seventy two. – An AMAZING seventy two. *Oh and he still doesn’t use his non-home-phone and I’m ever so grateful he never wears jeans.- Not his style.