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Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day, Dad.

You deserve a day.

Since I’m not going to be around to watch Easy Rider with you this year, and it’s pretty much a given that I will forget to send you a card, I’m going to say it here and now.

Happy Fathers Day.

Thanks for being my dad.

Thanks for standing on your head every Christmas Eve, just to prove you can still do it, even if there’s a coffee table full of wine glasses dangerously close by.

Thanks for always being the life of the party, with genuinely funny jokes that never make people feel dumb or uncomfortable, only happy.

Thanks for all those years of taking me for bike rides on the back of your ten-speed in one of those now illegal kiddy seats. Sure, there was that one time when you rode up on the neighbour’s lawn, jumped off to have a chat and forgot I was there, letting me and the bike I was strapped onto fall to the ground. But the grass was soft and hey, I was fine, even though I never wore a helmet. I wouldn’t trade any of those rides for eternal youth if it means I’d have to ride around in one of those hermetically sealed bike trailers. There’s nothing like having the wind in your hair. You let me learn that from a young age.

Speaking of wind in your hair (or lack thereof in your case) thanks for taking me skiing. Thanks for taking me skating on outdoor rinks on impossibly clear winter nights. Thanks for letting me feel the sand in my toes all those gorgeous lazy summer days we spent in the Okanagan. Thanks for all those campfires when you cracked us up talking like Donald Duck, even though we couldn’t understand you and you had to translate everything you said.

Thanks for teaching me how to drive. You weren’t exactly the king of cool when I ran that first stop sign in our trusty Volvo Station wagon. But you hung in there. Your preliminary work likely saved the life of that Korean guy from the Alberta Motor Association driving school. He got off easy with a busted wheel.

Thanks for always saying "how’s it goin’?" to complete strangers when you pass them by, simply because you are incapable of looking someone in the eye and not acknowledging them with a good-natured salutation. Indoctrinated by the ‘don’t talk to strangers’ mantra, I didn’t understand why you were talking to people you didn’t know. It didn’t endanger me to understand that talking to strangers is different than saying ‘how’s it goin’?" to people whose names you don’t yet know.

Thanks for cracking up when I do impressions of our relatives.

Thanks for singing Old Man River when you tucked me in and then letting me watch SCTV with you when I couldn’t sleep.

Thanks for not working all the time. For not dedicating your life to the pursuit of the almighty dollar. For keeping weekends sacred. Thanks for appreciating cool cars but not obsessing over them.

Thanks for being open-minded when others your age are so set in their ways. You’ve tuned into the hipster music scene my extraordinarily talented brother represents, going to all his shows, buying new CDs. You were rewarded with a guest pass to the Pixies reunion tour when I couldn’t get a ticket if I’d have promised my firstborn. Instead of jealous, I was proud. Okay, may just a bit jealous.

Thanks for encouraging my other extraordinarily talented brother to go to Europe. Instead of staying home and doing the safe thing, he found love and academic excellence.

Thanks for keeping it together when things went all wrong. When it hit home that your wife of all those years wouldn’t be around to grow old beside you. Thanks for holding us all up. For being resilient and patient, never giving in to poisonous frustration.

Thanks for getting me. For getting what I’m about and being happy for me.

Thanks for being there. For being the greatest dad ever. The kind of dad that turns into your best friend.

Happy Fathers Day.


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