Looking at this cheeky little toothless grin, I see so many other faces wash over, my Hazel this morning, smiling as she sang in assembly, or my nephew Jordan, his sweet gentle little face, a mad Carlton supporter like his Buppa. But most of all I still see my Dad, a bit older certainly, but still with that joy for life he had as a wee lad back then. Those eyes look toward the future, of migration and new beginnings, of hard work and lots of soccer, of a young woman he would fall in love with, of a family he would raise and success in business he would have, of more travel and adventures, of goals set and reached. A man more tolerant and compassionate of the struggles of others than many, a supportive Dad to his two daughters no matter where he really thought our dreams would lead.
But most of all I look at that cheeky little face and think of the boy who grew up to become the man who every night of the 18 years I lived at home, came to my bedroom door and told me that he loved me.
Happy Birthday Dad.
I love you too.