My Dada. A kind-eyed man with clever hands and a larrikin laugh who smells like engine oil, shortbread biscuits, and Hugo Boss. The man who taught me how to hammer a nail, bake melting moments, and slurp jelly and ice cream through a straw.
You give the hugs that settle and soothe this Daddy’s girl; from stubbed toes to broken hearts there is nothing those two strong arms cannot mend. You are the safest place to run. When the night gets too dark and the monsters escape from under my bed to haunt my daylight hours, you are always my knight in shining armour.
You laugh at your own jokes, dance with me to ‘Footloose’, and are the best partner in crime when it comes to demolishing a whole bar of chocolate over a cup of coffee.
I have your eyes, Mum says, and I hope so, because even though you are always quick with a joke, you are even faster to find something unexpectedly beautiful about someone, and to let them know.
You are quickly curious, and eternally hungry for knowledge. You taught me to never, ever stop learning, and looking ‘always looking’ around me at the what the world has to offer. You taught me that the richest experiences in life come from helping others, being humble, and getting your hands dirty. I think sometimes that people underestimate the depth of your soul and the breadth of your heart, and your truly selfless nature.
I walk through life with my head up and shoulders back because you believed in me, supported whatever path I have found myself wandering down, and told me to be proud of who I am and where I come from.
You are my father, and my friend. I am so blessed to be your daughter.
I love you Dada. Happy Birthday.