To my son Tommy,
I wonder if all parents do this or at least most dads. It seems natural but at the same time questionably wrong. You see, as parents, we remember the birthdays. To be honest, Geni, or Ancestry, or Facebook, or my Yahoo calendar, remember the birth dates but we utilize whatever tool and somehow, luck willing, "remember" when your aunts and uncles and cousins and various other family and friends have a birthday. But we really never call.
Sure we dial the number. Sure we usually throw in a quick happy b-day yelled from across the room as you are hanging up the phone. But it is you who really calls. You sing the song and pass on our birthday wishes. Even when we get or give presents, we often say they are from you.
It seems natural to me because who wants an out of tune forty year old guy singing Happy Birthday to them over the phone. Have a five year old that is too cute for his own good do it. When we tell you to say "Love you" at the end of the call, that love is from us as a family. You are in essence the ambassador for every birthday greeting and wish we send.
But taking credit for your efforts seems bit off. Sure it was a team effort, with your mom being team leader of course, but they often don't even get to hear me say happy birthday. Your mom is pretty good about grabbing the phone before you hang up and adding in her own voice to the wish. As for me, well you hang up pretty quick or your mom beat me to the punch. So I am the indistinguishable guy in the background that you faintly hear yelling happy birthday before you hear the hang up. It is kind of like being the guy who chipped in five bucks for the expensive gift just so he can get his name on the card. Oh well. It will have to do.
Today is the birthday of your mom's cousin which you call Uncle Fish. Monday was your Aunt Joanna's b-day. And of course your mom's birthday is this Saturday. So you have had. or will have to, give out a bunch of birthday greetings. You will continue to be our front man for all types of greetings and wishes in the years to come. But since you are a part of me, and probably the best part of me, it is only natural that I offer my best to those who have lived to live another year.
Sincerely with love from your dad,