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For those of you who can’t stomach sentimental claptrap, I suggest you move on. For those of you who don’t mind that sort of stuff, please read on. You can’t buy this kinda stuff from Hallmark

On the occasion of my 50th birthday my kid gave me this handwritten card encased in plastic that outlined the “50 Reasons Why I Love My Dad”. I thought I noded it here somewhere but for the life of me I can’t seem to find it.. It still holds a place on the mantle in my living room and every time I look at it I get this warm and fuzzy feeling and turn misty eyed and somehow the day seems better.

Anyway, my kid turned fourteen a little while ago and I felt it was time to reciprocate. These were my words to her and I hope she cherishes them as much as I cherish hers.

50 Reasons Why I Love My Kid

Some come to laugh their past away
Some come to make it just one more day
Whichever way your pleasure tends
If you plant ice you’re gonna harvest wind

Excerpt from the Grateful Dead tune called Franklin’s Tower

When the music finally fades and the jewelry is tucked away safely in a case somewhere in your room and is destined to be forgotten, when the clothes don’t fit anymore or fall out of fashion and when time and distance seem to stretch to infinity the only things that’s left are words and feelings.

Here are my words, here are my feelings. I hope you keep them and treasure them the same way I’ve kept yours.

When the candle that is my life flickers and begins to fade, you bring me light.

When I can’t recall the trivial events of what happened yesterday, your memory will always linger.

When the pictures are safely tucked away in an album or somewhere on a disc and seldom get to see the light of day, your image is etched into my heart and my brain.

You are my child and I am your dad and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

And no matter how old you get or how far you travel I’ll always be there right beside you.

I’ll be there to comfort you in times of turmoil and share your joy as you wind your way through what life has to offer.

And as you get older I’ll rejoice and flash back in time when smiles and laughter came free and easy and there wasn’t such a steep price to pay for such simple things.

As you go through life’s journey, do so with your head held high and your heart pure and you’ll have no regrets. Be true to yourself and all the rest will follow.

Never, ever forget how proud I am of you and how proud you should be of yourself.

In return for what you once gave me, I now try and give to you 50 Reasons Why I Love My Kid.

1) Your questions, your amazing questions that you ask and your willingness to hear an answer.
2) Your open, inquisitive mind that takes delight in learning.
3)Your ability to prioritize what is right and what is wrong and to choose the right path.
4)Your independence and to not follow the crowd no matter where the crowd is headed.
5) Your trustworthiness. You have never given me a reason to doubt you. When you say you’re gonna do something, you do it.
6) Your smile and laughter in times of joy.
7) Your frowns and tears in times of sorrow.
8) Your ability to see through the past and into the future.
9) Your commitment to learning. You are wise beyond your years and your peers.
10) Your compassion for people and things in need.
11) Your ability to adapt yourself to your surroundings. Your childhood was not a conventional one and you made the best of it.
12) Your ability for forgive people when they have treated you badly.
13) Your common sense approach to complex problems.
14) Your poems and your stories that reveal to people a side of yourself that they otherwise wouldn’t see.
15) Your honesty about your feelings and your willingness to share them.
16) Your willingness to talk through problems rather than just shut them down.
17) Your ability to see the deeper meaning in things and through the transparency that lies on the surface.
18) Your hugs and kisses that can be felt long after the hugging and kissing is done.
19) Your joy in knowing that a job, be it sports or in school, is well done.
20) Your frustration when the job is not well done.
21) Your ongoing quest to improve yourself.
22) Your ability to adapt to the challenges and changes that surround you on a daily basis.
23) Your patience when I want to listen to my tunes and not yours.
24) Your persistence when trying to comprehend something you can’t quite grasp
25) Your understanding that there are two sides to every story and until you hear both, the story is not complete.
26) Your simple approach to life. Yu don’t have all the luxuries other kids your age might have but you make the best of the things you do.
27) Your command of language and words and the knowledge of the power that lies beneath them.
28) Your sincerity in giving 100% no matter the task at hand.
29) Your ability to converse with people who are much older than you and to do so on their level.
30) Your civil manner and politeness and respect you show my friends een when I know that often times you’d rather be somewhere else.
31) Your ability to see right through me when most all most others see is what’s on the surface.
32) Your ability to remain non-judgemental when it comes to other peoples faith, beliefs and lifestyles.
33) Your awareness of the politics that surround you each and every day.
34) Your understanding that the world is a very big place and there is enough room for people who’s views differ from yours.
35) Your shared joy when beloved G-Men or Buckeyes win a football game.
36) Your anticipation of going to new places and new schools and not to be intimidated by things that at first glance seem unfamiliar.
37) Your willingness to set the trend rather than follow it. This is what a true leader does.
38) Your unwillingness to complain even though sometimes you have every right to.
39) Your commitment to your physical and mental health and well being.
40) Your memories that you gave to me whether you knew it or not.
41) Your ability to accept guidance when guidance is called for.
42) Your belief that actions and deeds speak much louder than mere words.
43) Your candor and openness when you’ve done something wrong and you ability to admit your mistakes and to try and correct them.
44) Your search for the truth even though the truth itself sometimes hurts.
45) Your realization that no matter how hard it is to believe, people are not perfect. They will make mistakes. I know I did and you know I did but yet, we move on.
46) Your kindness towards animals and kids that are younger and smaller than you.
47) Your love of reading books that run the gamut of topics.
48) Your love of travel and the experience you’ve gained from trips overseas and around the country.
49) Your comprehension of the world around you.
50) And through all of that, through all of the forty nine reasons that I’ve listed, the last one is the most important. You make everybody else, especially me, a much better person just by being you.

With more love than you can ever imagine,