Saturday, October 6, 2012

My Friend, Jurie

Today, October 6, is the birthday of one of my favorite people on the planet. Let me tell you a little bit about him.

First of all, he's a tough guy. Kind of a biker type, if you know what I mean.
Also, he's quite the world traveler, having recently visited Norway...
and China...
and the bottom of the deep blue sea.
He has an endlessly entertaining sense of humor,
 a deep appreciation for a plate full of good food, 
and an unparalleled mastery of the Force. His midi-chlorian counts are off the charts.
Still, he's a humble and easy-going person who is perfectly willing to let someone else be the center of attention, and that is one of my favorite things about him.

But of all the reasons I respect and admire Mohd Yuzairie Bin Yusoff, my first and best Malaysian friend, the most important is that he is a patient, kind, and loving father.

From the beginning, I could tell he was not just a typical first-time dad. It's easy to see how comfortable and at ease he was with his daughter, and she with him. He's even got that balance-her-on-one-leg trick going on. Right from the start, I could tell this daddy knew what was up.
Look at that comfy little girl, snuggled up to her abii, who holds her in such a relaxed and confident way. I asked him why he had such an unusual expression on his face in this scene, and he explained, "I was talking to her." Nice papa.
Every parent has been there - a birthday boy or girl who has had a little too much party, and simply comes unglued in front of a houseful of guests. We all have our own way of dealing with these high-profile meltdowns, but the parent who can calmly pick up a camera and capture that precious emotion in a well-composed photo is a patient and confident parent indeed. 
"Fank you for cawying me, Abii."
Risking sand in the shorts for some play time at the beach may just be the ultimate measure of a parent's love.
Of all the photos I have seen of my friend and his little girl, this might be my favorite. 
I like how a little step for him makes a big step for her.
I like the way her tiny little arm reaches up to his papa-sized arm, and her little hand fits into his.
And I like how you can tell he is looking down at her, to make sure she is safely coming along.

This, I think, is a fair and honest portrait of a good and loyal friend. And it is the best gift that I can think to give to my friend, Jurie, on his special day. Happy birthday!

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