…But since I’m a father I’m obligated to do this sort of thing.
So buckle up, kid; it’s your “Secret Origin Day”. Yes, I went there. Anyone can use “Birthday”; I prefer to be the best nerd I can be.
The original plan was – and always will be – to be the best dad I can be, but you know what they say about the best laid plans…
I screw up on a daily basis. I embarrass you regularly at airports (I swear, that passport-reading machine was out to get me!) at restaurants, pretty much anywhere we go together. I forget many of the daily fandom/news/Broadway updates you thoughtfully provide me with on a daily basis – until I tell you about the same news days later. And above all, even though I never mean to, I mansplain.
And yes, I will publicly admit that mansplaining is the most grievous of all male crimes but in my defense, and this applies to all of my mistakes… I mean well. Remember that every day of your life, kid, because let’s face it, I’m going to mess up a whole lot more.
And yes, even though you’re nineteen today you’re still a kid. You’re my kid and you always will be. The day you were born was the happiest, and most nerve-wracking of our lives. But it was worth it. Your mother has always kept her ambitions and dreams grounded in reality (hence her choice of mate) and so being a mother was always the plan. Fortunately, it turns out being your mom was her destiny, which explains why she’s so adept at doing the job of two competent parents. Your mother isn’t as sappy as me, to say the least; she prefers to play her cards close to the vest, but she displays her love for you every single second in her every action. There is literally nothing your mom wouldn’t do for you, kid.
Now me? I’m definitely the sappy one. And I’m also the one who is more than willing to get on a plane and fly to New York on whirlwind trips that allow you to indulge your greatest passion. I can honestly say I’ve never seen a more brilliant light emanate from anyone’s heart that even comes close to matching the beam you gave off at the Richard Rodgers Theater the night we saw Hamilton. You had been gushing about this show for over a year and it made me proud that we were able to bring at least one of your dreams to life.
Life is a journey, kid, and sometimes It’s going to take you through the places where the wild things dwell. But you already know that, don’t you? At nineteen you’re already one of the most intelligent, tough-as-nails souls I’ve ever encountered. I’d be proud to know you even if you weren’t my kid.
I know I haven’t exactly been a pillar of strength lately; the truth is, I’m broken and it can’t be easy for you seeing me walk around the house in a zombie-like state. Then again, most dads, and males in general, spend their lives in zombie-like states anyway, so…
Time to wrap this up: It has been the greatest honor of my life to be your dad and I hope that you remember that when I’m driving you insane as we argue about… pretty much everything.
You got your birthday present early this year (Anastasia on Broadway beats a cake and a few books and movies, right?) but I hope you enjoy this day as much as you can, kid. Saying “We love you” doesn’t begin to cover the depths of our feelings for you, Sarah, but we do love you.
With everything we are.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to cook up some new ways to make you roll your eyes while we dine out at a fancy, crowded restaurant tonight…