My father, Michael Dean Stenberg, turned fifty (50) years old today! This is 18,250th day of life on this Earth, and I can attest to the fact that he has spent many of those days being an awesome dad and a pretty cool guy.
I love my dad, and I am grateful to him for so many things. First and foremost, I want to thank him for all the things he’s done for me that I won’t mention because I don’t know what they are. What I mean by that is that my dad has made so many sacrifices for me that I will never know about, and he has done so many amazing things to make my life better, and I want to thank him for that. I know that when I was a little kid, he spent so many hours working, travelling, and busting his balls so he could bring home a paycheck to make our lives as splendid and blessed as they are. He constantly put me and brother as his first priority, and he sent us to private school our entire lives. He not only paid for, but also attended, nearly all of the sporting events of ours that he could. He taught me the fun in cooking, life skills like changing tires, how to be a gentleman to a woman, how to shave and tie shoes, how to tie a knot when I got older. He’s helped me format resumes’, write emails and speeches, extend myself, lead others, be humble, be direct, work my hardest, and to tell jokes.
But the main thing I’ll always associate my dad with is all the Boy Scouts activities that we have done together. In addition to nearly nine campout a year for close to six years, my dad also took time out of his life every summer to go on high adventure trips with me, my brother, or often both of us. I remember the high-adventure trips the most because they were the most fun, but also because so few people went on them, and even more–so few dads went on them. There was no bs’ing at a high-adventure trip: the dads hiked the same thirteen miles with fifty pound backpacks that the kids did. So, dads who came were committed and obligated to serve the role of leader and manager, but also do the same amount of physical work we had to do. I don’t know how they did it. My dad went with me to hike in Alaska, New Mexico, Montana, and Colorado, and we canoed the rivers of Canada when I was entering into my senior year. I got to spend two weeks with my dad while he was in his element, surrounded by friends and away from the corporate crap. We made some great memories, and I am blessed with having those experiences with him that such a small percent of guys my age get.
I have learned from Young Life that I am incredibly, unbelievably blessed to have a dad who still loves and lives with my mom. I have learned from Boy Scouts that I have a dad who sacrifices his own physical self to spend time with me. I have learned from dinner-table talks that I have a dad who is always pushing himself to learn more and do more. I have learned from vacations that I have a dad who always puts the happiness of his family ahead of his own happiness. I have learned from M-F 8-5 that I have a dad who works so very, very hard to gift me with a comfortable life full of options and pleasures. But most of all, I have been blessed by God with a dad who loves me and truly cares for me.
You rock, Dad. Happy Fiftieth! Now go hit up that senior discount.