Happy Birthday Dad

I had Stephanie take this picture of my hands a few weeks ago after I had finished changing out some headlights in our vehicles. The picture is proof that I actually do, on the rare occasion, get my hands filthy dirty. More than that, however, this picture represents a memory central to my time as a child.

My dad is, and always has been, a semi-truck driver. For as long as I can remember he has owned and serviced his own trucks. Growing up we lived on a 5 acre hobby farm that provided the space for a large heated garage where my dad would spend time most days greasing, wrenching, changing oil, and loving on his 'babies' that brought in the funds for all my siblings and my exploits. And at the end of all those hard, dirty days, my dad would come into our house and scrub his black hands clean in the laundry room tub.

From time to time I would help him out in the shop, holding something or handing him tools. Some days my time in the shop was stressful, but more often than not it was just good time with Dad, watching him and learning to be a man. And when mom called to tell us dinner was ready it would be my turn to rub Mojo on my hands and do some sink scrubbing myself.

None of my brothers or I took up the tools of my father's trade; we all choose the sports path instead and ended up fairly inept at fixing much of anything. I sometimes wonder if that bothers my dad. If it does he has never shown it. In fact, my dad has supported and encouraged us no matter what roads we have traveled. I am quite sure that we had more fun and more opportunities as kids than most, and it was because my dad worked hard and gave all he had for us.

Yeah, I had Stephanie take this picture as joking proof that I changed some dumb headlights, but more so, I had her take it because for one brief moment, my hands were my dad's hands.

I love you dad and I hope that I can give my kids everything that you gave me.