I remember Dad always knew stuff. When we were kids it didn't seem so unusual -- Dads were always supposed to know everything, right? But then as I got older I realized my dad really did have answers for all my questions. Not just because he was dad, but because he was a man who made real effort in learning and understanding life. Not only did my dad know the names of trees on hikes and how to proofread my papers -- he also understood my frustrations with myself and how to use his own experience to guide the advice he gave me in directing my life and my choices. I've watched my dad and all the time he spends reading and researching and this has shown me the importance he places on learning and understanding. For me this is a virtue I value highly and I've tried to implement it in my own life.
It's kinda funny to me to think of all the times Dad used to say "You know Kirsten, you and I are a lot the same" when I was a child -- and how that is becoming more and more true. When I was a kid I used to get ticked-off at the phrase because it always seemed to precede some lecture on how Dad "knew where I was coming from" because we were both the oldest and were so similar... and of course I figured he had no idea because there was no way we were similar at all!
Now I can see that he did, and we were. And as I've begun to appreciate those similarities, I've found more. I've begun to see in my Dad all of the things (that I took for granted) for the value that they have. Not only personality similarities but even little things like learning to like gardening, classical music, and shopping at thrift stores.
I know it's a cliche but it's true what they say -- you don't really begin to appreciate your parents until you get older. I feel like I've only just begun to appreciate my father for all that he's done and all that he is. I have no doubt that as I grow older that appreciation will only expand and deepen in my heart. I love him. I hope that despite the dumb stuff I sometimes do and say (which I'm sure he understand since he used to do and say the same dumb stuff right?) he knows that I admire and rely on him SO SO much.
I LOVE you Dad. Thank you forever.