My dad is wonderful. He also has the ability to exasperate me unlike anyone else. He'll set up any and all electronic devices, but you're going to get a lecture on their inner workings and a stern reminder to "read the manual." He is gruff. He is opinionated but is also open to change - after almost 40 years of voting Republican, I believe he cast his vote for Obama last November. He has, at some time or another, spanked all of his progeny, but he has never laid a hand on us otherwise. Once, he called me "shit for brains." But on many, many other occasions he has told me he's proud of me.
There are things about him I will never understand. Watching golf. Watching NASCAR (they. are going. in circles). Sneaking treats to the neighbor's dog. Becoming irrational when the dishwasher is not arranged precisely as it should be.
But for every one of those things there's another that astounds me. Fixing up his daughter's old bike and not making a peep when she lets it rust (sorry, Dad). Taking team pictures of our soccer and t-ball teams and giving away prints to kids he knew couldn't afford them. Eating breakfast with us every morning throughout elementary school. His willingness to do anything for his kids.
Thanks, Dad. I can't wait to have you come visit.