my dad is 70. SEVENTY!
A few days before his birthday my mom mentioned casually that this was dad's seventieth birthday. What in the world?!! How had I missed the memo? And how in the world could my dad be turning 70? Seven Zero! It actually did quite the deal on my own psyche. If my father is 70, the I must be sort of old too...
Mom and I talked and we decided to go low key. We'd invite the Anderson's over for a picnic. It sounded great. And then the day before the birthday she kept calling me and telling me who else she'd invited. And soon we had a legit party on our hands. Ivar was thrilled to be planning a birthday party for Grandpa Paul. He knew just what to get Grandpa for his birthday, "A Thomas Train from Target!" So the theme was set. And even better, my dad went to Party City before they came over and bought every Thomas plate, napkin, table cloth, bubble set, bucket and party blower the store had. Ivar had nailed it on the theme. Turns out, Grandpa Paul loves Thomas the Train!
Uncle Carl sat with Ivar at the kids table and they had a smashing time. Those two are quite the pals.
We made Grandpa Paul a cake with a 70 train track on it with a train car filled with skittles. I think Ivar may have eaten 70 skittles by the end of the night...
My whole life I've asked Dad what he wants for his birthday. He always replies, "world peace." Which was followed by a groaning, "daaaaaad, I can't get you that!" To which he'd say, "eh, just get me some whoppers and duct tape. You can never have enough duct tape." Which actually makes him the easiest guy to shop for.
It was a fun night celebrating a great guy. I told the story of when Mom and Dad dropped me off at the airport before I left for a semester in India. Dad leaned in and said, "Becca, when you're there, never forget..." And I thought he'd say something super spiritual here but instead he finished, "wherever you are, that's where you're at."
I was baffled by that comment. But days later, when I found myself beginning to feel a bit homesick, I remembered those words, "wherever you are, that's where you're at." And I honestly think I bypassed homesickness because I was able to be fully present right where I was. And I loved my semester in India and all of the experiences I had there because of it.
It's still some of my very favorite advice. I still think of it, remembering not to wish a moment away, a predicament, a obligation or a season of life. There's no room for escapism in those words. Enjoy where you're at. Because that's right where you are.
So Happy Birthday Dad! You are a wise seventy-year-old man!