Dear Mr. Trivia, (aka Dad)
I always give the Artist all the credit around Father's Day because he is still down in the trenches, but I should take the time to tell you how grateful I am all you've done for me, even if you aren't on the parenting front lines anymore.
I am grateful that you never told me I was better at something than I was. Stung a few times, but in the end, I could trust every word out of your mouth. If you said, "well done", I could take it to heart, no question asked.
I am grateful that you treated me like a person and not a little kid. You told me how you felt about everything in your own words. I always felt like you were trusting me to be mature and understand complex ideas. It helped me grow into a more articulate and thoughtful adult.
I am grateful that you read the boring books. I would walk into your room and see you with another history book and roll my eyes and walk back out. If you happened to have an astronomy or science book in your lap I would look at the pictures and then move on. But you taught to me to keep teaching myself, even when no one was looking. I'm reading a biography of John Adams right now and loving it. Maybe some day my girls will roll their eyes at me.
I am grateful that I got to live with someone so naturally optimistic. I have never met anyone who had such a natural faith and hope in the future. You kept your childlike enthusiasm through life. I've never seen any situation get the best of you.
I am grateful that you are so humble. Everyone I know has an ego. Except you. You have never tried to impress anyone. You have never worried if someone didn't like you. If the King of Spain asked you where you'd like to eat you'd say, "Golden Corral!" If you were a millionaire you would drive the same car and love it just as much. You have no need for anything ostentatious or showy. You are yourself, at all times and all places.
Thanks for laughing when the golf ball dented your new car. Thanks for laughing when they drove your new car through a glass door. Thanks for being so sweet when I rear-ended a new car. (Wow- you have bad luck with new cars!)
Thanks for being a dad who I can call with any question any time. (remember when I called at 9:30 that night and said, "Hi, dad. Why did they shoot Bobby Kennedy?" and you launched into every theory without pausing?)
I love that about you.
I love a lot of things about you.
Happy Father's Day.