An open letter to my father on his 60th birthday.

Dear Dad,

Today on your birthday, I’m taking this opportunity to write a letter to you to express how much I truly love you although I may not be able to put all of my emotions into words.

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Being a father is no easy task. A father makes a huge impact on his daughter’s life. He is the first man she says “I love you” to, and the first man to really show her what love is which you have demonstrated through your relationship and marriage to Mum.

As a young child I was very inquisitive and the majority of my memories of us together consists of me asking you questions constantly. To me as a child you knew everything. On our movie nights, a privilege afforded to the eldest child and the one with the latest bedtime, I would constantly harangue you to reveal plot details even though you’d probably never seen the film before, “what’s going to happen next Dad? Why is that man shooting that man, Dad?” On our adventure days around various museums and monuments I would ask what everything was and you would supply an answer. I say an answer because later in life I would realise that you made most of it up or guessed the answer, a tactic that I would then go on to use with both of my children and their relentless questioning. Thank you for always answering my questions and fostering my inquisitive nature.

You were always talking about music, your favourite artists, your memories associated with music. At family events we’d dance and you would execute your signature moves in the style of Mick Jagger and would sing your heart out to every Stones tune as if you were the embodiment of Jagger. I know it’s your birthday and I’m only supposed to say nice things but we both know that with moves and a voice like yours the Stones wouldn’t still be touring! You were and are always fun and our kids now know this too.

I know we’ve never been the touchy-feely types but I need you to know that you have deeply and significantly impacted my life. Most people in your life only get to call you friend, but my sister and I get the incredible privilege of having your genes and calling you ‘Dad’ and the grand kids, ‘Papa’. You are always there for us in your own unique way whether it was popping in on your way home from work when my son was little when we all knew you had to make a massive detour from your work in West Calder to ‘pop in’ or taking my son out for dinner to make sure he gets home from his drama class in Leith each week.

Happy birthday Dad!

I love you x

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