Sunday, September 13, 2009

Happy Birthday...

Take a look at all the pics from the party... here!

We get one day a year to celebrate being who we are. 

Tonight, in the shadow of the monument downtown, a group of friends gathered to celebrate a unique life. A life that has touched many, that has immense creativity and through all life's ups and downs, has tried to live a life - at least to me - seems to have been well lived.

At a great restaurant, Oyamel, downtown, a diverse group of friends gathered to say happy birthday to our friend Melissa Daddio.

Now, birthdays are amazing occasions. They are indeed the one day we get to pause to say "hey, I'm living life, and today is my day..." And generally we all take pause to celebrate because we, as people, of course like to celebrate ourselves.

But for me tonight was different.

And it's because I'm a single dad.

Had we had a formal toast, and  had I been asked to speak, here's what I would have said:

As some of you here know - and for those of you who don't - I'm a single father.

A single father of an amazing little girl.

And for the last nine months or so - for most of the last year - my daughter, my life's joy, has been with me, here, in our town, around all of us in some way, shape or form.

But what I try hard not to let you see is what I fear as a single dad.

I fear that I'm raising a tomboy.

Not that it's a bad thing. Kyla loves baseball games. She loves being the queen of the playground. She loves conquering the monkey bars.

But I worry at times that I'm teaching her too many boy things. Maybe it's just a fear I have, because I don't really know that my fears are founded.

The absence of a female influence, did, and does, however, make me worry.

That's where recently, Melissa came in.

From craft projects to school plays which required craftiness, over the last year, Melissa, you were there for me. For her. To step in and do what only a woman can do. To teach her the things that I'm not able to do as well as you. Things like how to be crafty. To teach the girly things. To take sparkly glitter and make sparkly Barbie pictures.  To make a cat costume for a Cat and the Fiddle play at her school. To make up a leotard and to find a fiddle. And to practice with her while your husband and I were out so that she could be the best she could be.

For the girly things you taught her... I thank you. For the motherly influence, I can never repay you.

And as you enter into this next year of your life, I can safely say that should life so bless you with a little one of your own - and I believe it will... I can say, as a parent, with the utmost abandon, that you will indeed be one of the best mothers that I've ever known.

I say this because you've been one of the best grown up friends to a five year old that I've ever seen.

Happy Birthday, Melissa. Thank you for being a part of this little village we've created which has helped me to raise a child. For giving of yourself so selflessly that - as a dad - I'm truly moved by.

And thank you for having a selfless heart which is so big...

Here's to an amazing woman, wife, friend and one day, mother.

Happy Birthday, Melissa... you Kudu.


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