His birthday was actually yesterday, August 2nd, but I lost power due to inclement weather from 6:45pm until about 3am, so I couldn't hop online and write this last night.
My dad just turned 60 years old, sorry for telling everyone dad. I just wanted to take this chance to talk a little bit about the man that let me live so many times when he probably wanted to kill me, for that I will always be grateful.
You could say my dad likes to play baseball. I'm not sure if like is a strong enough verb. In fact, he's in St. Louis this very weekend playing in a tournament. He started playing when he was 5 years old, and never stopped. In fact, he was so excited about going to baseball practice once when he was a kid, that he ran smack dab through a sliding glass door, shattering it.
A good portion of my childhood was spent at baseball games. I had my first near death experience at a baseball game, as an infant. An errant ball came flying into the crowd, right toward my soft spot. Luckily a nice man reached out and caught the ball before it crushed my wittle baby skull. A lot of people think it hit me, and actually that would indeed explain a lot.
In his heyday, dad was on about 5 teams at the same time, playing ball almost ever night of the week. I'm not entirely sure why his baseball cap didn't grow onto his head permanently.
My dad is career military. He joined up right before my parents got married back in 1969 and has worked for the naval air station ever since. He's the MWR director, which is a fancy way of saying he runs each and every recreational aspect of the station. For me, growing up, this meant I had my own naval air station all to my self. I wasn't a shy kid and I ran all over that place with reckless abandon. In fact if anyone asked me what I was doing I told them it was OK because my dad owned the place. To this day I'm surprised I didn't got shot.
Dad's lifted weights and been a freak about fitness since I can remember. Unfortunately that trait was not hereditary. He's always been all muscled up. If ever I wanted to pull the, "my dad could beat up your dad", shtick when I was a kid, there would've been a lot of dads shaking in there loafers.
Dad used to be a bit of a hot head in his younger fathering days. If I ever came to him crying or upset that someone was mean to me, he would take care of it toot sweet. Usually confronting the person directly with some choice words. Luckily it always ended with the other person backing down. He's calmed down quite a bit over the years and realizes now that his behavior was a bit irrational. I'm pretty sure once I become a parent I won't think he was as irrational as I did back in the day. His intentions were in the right place even if his actions were misguided.
He loves to fix up my parents house. He's always working on the lawn, putting up a new fence or building a new wing. He's changed the house so much since they bought it, that I can hardly recognize the place from my childhood.
Growing up my father had Mondays off from work. Starting sometime in my elementary school days, Monday we had family night. We would go out to eat or go see a movie. I loved and looked forward to spending time with the family. I cherished these nights and even at my young age I knew each one of these nights was special.
My dad has 2 PHD's. He's a very smart man. Maybe to smart. That wasn't hereditary either. As well as his job at the base, he teaches night courses at a local college.
My dad has been several things to me growing up. He has been feared. He has been admired. He has been misunderstood. He has been hated. He has been loved. Most importantly he has always been there for me. I don't like to admit if I need help, but when I did he knew it. He would offer gladly without ever making me feel like I owed him anything. He always made me feel safe, when I was scared. He has done so much to insure I lived a secure and happy life.
Me and my dad are both motivated by different interests in life. Neither one of us understands why either one peruses those interests so adamantly, but we both respect and support each others desires and dreams. I could not have asked for a better, stronger, or more loving man to call my father. Happy Birthday dad, I hope your around for 60 more years, swinging that bat all the way home.