My Dad used to read to me every night before bed. Sometimes he would fall asleep whilst reading and I would have to pry his eyes open with my little fingers and beg him to wake up and continue reading. Occasionally he would also sing to me at night. Mum tells me this is why I cannot sing in tune.
Dad always takes our ideas seriously. Even when we were 16 years old, if we had a business idea he would encourage us to flesh it out, think it through, write it down and seek funding. His belief in me (and a good idea) without a doubt contributed to my entrepreneurial spirit as an adult.
Once Dad built us our very own outside playhouse, with a deck and stairs and windows and everything. One time we built a working telephone together. And once we built a boat – a little dinghy with a little outboard motor. We lived on a lifestyle block that was just big enough for Dad to always have at least a few DIY projects on the go. I’d love to say that he passed this talent on to me but I’d say Vinny probably acquired more of this than me.
I used to wake up early just so I could steal more time with Dad alone in the kitchen talking over breakfast. Our conversations used to last for hours before I would reluctantly rush off to a netball game that I was already a bit late for. Long walks with Dad or long breakfasts with Dad both meant long conversations with Dad – possibly one of my favourite things in the world.
I hope that Mika one day gets to experience her Grandpa the way that I know him. Long conversations, DIY projects, outrageously legitimate ideas, culinary experiments and delights, a bedtime story or two and possibly the occasional song.
Happy birthday Dad. All the love in the universe, me and Ivan and Mika.