An Open Letter to My Dad on His 68th Birthday

Wednesday, May 10, 2017


We blew this photo up nice and big for the kid's gallery wall. You know what a gallery wall is, right? His room is white and cream and dark wood and soft neutrals peppered with dark green. I stole one of Papa's pastels of the mountains from Waterville, kind of like the one we had at our house all those years, and we hung it above the changing table, the changing table you and mom had for me. You'd like to hang out in the nursery, I think. We do. We try to read to him at least a few days a week. The cats come, too. We don't limit reading material to baby books, either. Last weekend he learned about regional styles of barbeque--important stuff. The rocking chair has nice back support. I know you'd like that.

You always told me I'd be surprised how much changes in a year, and at this time last year, I was recently unemployed, making mom hang out with me a lot, and feeling generally pretty bad for myself. It was cool to have the time to take a step back and think about what I wanted next, but it was scary, too. And you weren't there to tell me what to do and for me to tell you thanks but I'll do what I want anyway. I don't think I even knew what I wanted. A hug, for sure.

So I dove into what made me feel like I was making a difference. I invested in my relationships more. I took trips to see people. We drove your little Z3 (we named her Bev, btw) home from Southern California. I learned how to be a pretty good wife and I gave your grandcats a lot of supervised outdoor time. We also grew our first real garden. It was a pretty simple existence, but by the end I learned to like it. It's the kind of existence I know you'd have told me should make me feel more content than it did right then. Or maybe you wouldn't have. Five years later, I honestly don't know anymore what you'd tell me to do and be...just that you'd care that I'm happy, and you'd be proud of me for trying. And I'd know that that's enough, just like it always has been.

It's supposed to be a full moon tonight. Maybe that'll bring on this little dude and you'll get a birthday baby. I understand if you're not super eager to share, though, since you already share with Uncle Don. You KNOW I understand not wanting to share. Either way, I hope you work some magic up there and bring him safely here to meet us soon because I am SO DONE talking to people about my belly.

Mom's here waiting on your grandson to arrive. We're going to meet her for ice cream and a walk along the marina to look at boats. Raz and I recently rediscovered how good coffee ice cream is, so maybe I'll get a scoop of that for you. We'll see how I'm feeling. No matter what, we'll celebrate you and think of you and make memories with you, because if it weren't for you we wouldn't be us, and this kid who has no idea what he's in for wouldn't exist either.

Crazy how much can change in a year, huh? Happy birthday!

I love you,

For those who are interested, 2016's letter is here, 2015's letter is here, and 2014's letter is here.


  1. A fun loving letter to read on birthdays, it reminds the care and special feeling that loved ones have for us.All the things so difficult to say were so simple when one see their parents

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