One Step At A Time: Happy Birthday Dad


We had a great time at Dad’s birthday dinner at Parasson’s last week in Stow. 

Michael Reiner

October eighth was my dad’s 54th birthday. 

My mom and dad came to Kent to spend some time with Mitchell and I to celebrate. We went to Parasson’s for dinner and then we went to Swenson’s to grab milkshakes. It was a great night. 

As a family, we value getting to see each other on nights like this because we are all so busy. Mitchell and I appreciate how often our mom and dad spend time with us, and are willing to make the drive to Kent just to see us, even if it is only for a couple hours.

My dad, Bill, and my mom, Paula, make the perfect team.  My mom has always been a hands-on kind of mom who loves to help me, and my dad helps me by just being there. He is always there to talk and he is an amazing friend. Most of our time together is spent eating and watching sports, but that’s ok because it is time well spent. 

There is one memory with my dad that sticks out in my mind. It was when we were at the beach a few years ago. 

The beach is fun for me, but it is a struggle. It’s hard for me to keep my balance on the sand and especially in the ocean. I enjoy sitting on the beach reading a good book, but I usually try to make my way into the water once or twice during our stay, even though it’s tough on me physically.

My dad loves the ocean. He always helps me stand as I try to battle the waves. One time when we were in the ocean, I thanked my dad for his help and we talked a bit about the future. I told him that I know that it will probably be a struggle for me to hold my own children in the ocean and keep them safe.  

My dad choked up and he calmly said the phrase, “You will find a way.” 

I believe that this phrase has been a constant throughout my life. The biggest lesson that my dad has taught me in life is to always be persistent and to never give up. 

If I become half the man that my dad is, I’ll know that I’ve done alright.

Michael Reiner is a columnist. Contact him at [email protected].