My father was quick to reverse the numbers on his cake this evening, but when my father was 38, my youngest brother and I weren't even born. And so here he is at 83. I can hardly reconcile the number with my father. Eighty-three seems like an old man. My father is strong in mind and body, quick to laugh and full of wit. The depth and breadth of his knowledge is astounding. We look to him, all of us, for clarification. He is a man of wisdom, kindness, and humor.
I have never for one moment forgotten that I am who I am largely because my father gave me room to grow. My father gave me challenges and loved me when I failed, and never doubted that I'd end up in the best possible place. I confess that I have to quell my anxiety at my father's birthday each year, because I know that 83 really is 83. And I want these years to slow down.