Today is my daddy dear's birthday! I have to admit, I've always been a daddy's girl, which I'm sure is partly due to being sisterless for my first 6 years of life. Dad has always been a calming presence in the house, and a good antidote to a highly-charged Brazilian mother. ;D
In my family we have had some nice traditions and habits over the years that stem from my dad. When I was little I'd go with him every year to the Christmas tree farm to pick the perfect tree for the festivities. On weekend mornings we often wake up to his big stereo speakers pumping out his favorite albums, from the Neville Brothers to Cesaria Evora to Jeff Beck. We come downstairs sleepy-eyed to him grooving with a cup of coffee in hand and generally a book or magazine in the other. For many years dad would read to us kids every night before bedtime, working through huge books like Jules Verne's The Mysterious Island and the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy. He's a great reader and I loved sitting in the living room listening to him telling us tales from other lands and times, because it really felt like it was him telling the story as he read it, not the author.
One thing I've always loved about my dad is how he has an answer for everything. If I need to know something about a certain topic, if I want advice about a particular situation, or if I just read something on the internet and want to know his take, he always has an answer for me. It's like he's a fount of knowledge! I'm always amazed at how much information he has stored away in that big brain of his!
Dad has always traveled a lot for work which has been hard on us sometimes, especially on my mom, but he never fails to call home and let us know he's there safe, to take lots of pictures in the exotic locales he visits, and to bring back perfect little gifts for all of us! Even now, when I only see my family once a year, I get back to the US and have a few little gifts waiting for me from my dad's trips around the world. It's always nice to know he's thinking of us at his conferences, meetings and field work. One highlight of my year in France during college was the week I spent in Montpellier with my dad, because he found a conference to attend in France specifically so we could see each other! It was a lovely week, and I was treated to a hotel room and restaurant dinners--definite luxuries considering my student budget!
I could go on and on and on about my dad, and how special he is to me and how grateful I am to have him as my daddy, but it suffices to say I wouldn't be half the person I am today if it weren't for his influence and love. I hope you have a wonderful birthday daddy, and many more wonderful years ahead! I love you!!