December 20th is always a big day in the Christian family. In 2016 it means even more to us. My dad Earl has turned the page into his 60th year of human existence.
I like my dad. In fact I love my dad. We have a very good relationship.
Is it perfect? No.
Could it be better? Absolutely.
I love the fact that even though he is my father we are actually really good friends too. We can go weeks without talking and then one phone call later we it's unfiltered discussions on the Miami Heat, NBA history, politics, priortizing our health and life in-between.
Sometimes I wished I appreciated that dynamic more when I was younger.
One of the reasons I really appreciate my father more now is that I see the work that goes into being a parent. Not comparing the work to what a mother provides cause that's just not even comparable. But just the little intangibles that go unnoticed. Being a provider. An positive influence for your child. Those seeds planted are very important to a legacy.
It's no secret that my father was a weekend dad to me. My parents were never married. But I never saw it as a negative either. I was one of the lucky ones who was able to maintain a relationship with him from the word go.
Again not perfect. Not ideal to some. But workable.
But here is why I love my father unconditionally. He's a positive guy. He doesn't let things rattle him. Sometimes to an annoying fault. Sometimes I wonder if he hides the warts that actually bother him because it's always forward movement with him. Improving on the present. Onwards towards the future.
He taught me to listen twice as much as I talk. Something to this day I still struggle with in moments.
He's protective of his family -- especially his kids and grandkids. He likes to parent too even though all of his kids are 30 years old or more. He has no bones in doling out advice regardless if we ask for it. Sometimes I think he misses having young ones because he does thrive on throwing out his perspective to us -- even if we don't actually ask for it. But that's what a parent does. That shows he cares.
Not every parent actually gives a shit about their kids. I'm lucky I have parents that do. My Dad included. The world needs more people like Earl Christian.
Happy 60th even though you look closer to 40.