I can’t believe you’re actually 90 today; I haven’t known you for most of it, but I have known you for the last 26 years. That’s a really long time in itself. As I sit here in Thailand, writing this, I can’t help but feel emotional thinking of you and how much I love you.
You didn’t have to have me; you’d already fathered four other fabulous children, but you did Mum one last favour and agreed to one more. And then I came along and made you endure years of dramas, tantrums, burnt bathrooms and horrid boyfriends, when you could have happily been living your retirement out in Spain. I’m so glad you chose to have me though and I got to have one of the greatest men as my Daddy.
I know you’ve always felt somewhat bad for being such an older Dad than that of my friends, but I don’t think I’ve told you enough that I never wished for a younger Dad. Yes; you couldn’t kick a football around with me, but every day when I got home from school you were there. Every morning when I huffed and puffed around the house before school as a hideous teenager; you were offering me porridge and cleaning up after me as I rushed through the door.
You’d take me to watch Mum at the Squash club, dangling me over the edge and scaring the life out of me. You’d take me to Brownies, to ballet lessons. You were my lazy partner in crime on holidays to the Lake District. Mum and Joseph loved hiking up hills and through fields and lakes, whereas you just understood me, so you’d let me stay in the car with you, possibly going off for some cake or something during the long wait.
You’d make me scream with anger when you’d force me to recite my times tables, and ask me how to spell things, repeatedly; however without that, I certainly wouldn’t have got the qualifications I got from school.
You stood by me as I dropped out my first degree to do Nursing, ran away to India, and came back saying I wanted to be an Events Manager.
You helped me revise for my degree, testing me from a huge pile of flash cards full of boring information about business models and economics.
You cuddled me and kissed me on the head every time I came home crying because some boy had hurt me. No man I know can ever live up to my Daddy.
I’m sorry for everything I’ve put you through with my sporadic love life and career decisions, and any tattoos or piercings that have made you consider disowning me.
Please know how much I love you, and even though I love being away, I hate not being at home with you and Mum as we sit by the fire and watch University Challenge on Monday nights, and I just feel safe there.
I feel like I have FINALLY found a vocation which I love now; there must be something in the blood about you producing daughters who teach!
I love you Dad, and as I write this, with my Kindergarten class asleep during their nap time on the classroom floor, I can’t help but be excited about coming home and seeing you and Mum, and being the kid again.
Thanks again for everything over the past 26 years. I am so so so proud to not just call you my father, but my Daddy.
Happy birthday, love your little girl,