This weekend my Dad celebrated his 60th birthday. There is really no other way to put it than this: my Dad is awesome. And he always has been.
I’ve often heard girls say that they wanted to marry someone like their Dad. I’ve always thought that was kind of weird/creepy/indicative of some kind of daddy issue. My desire is this: to be as good a parent to my children as my Mom and Dad are to me. If I can do that, I will truly be successful.
Happy Birthday Dad. This list is just a sliver of the man and the parent that you are.
I hope I can live up.
Sixty for Sixty
1. My dad has never yelled at me, ever.
2. He only spanked me once that I can remember. I was 9 or 10 and I TOTALLY DESERVED IT.
3. He folds laundry and makes beds with military precision.
4. When he tucked us into bed at night, he would take the bedspread and fluff it up in the air to straighten it out and let it slowly float down and tickle our faces. He’d do it three or four times even though the first time would have done the trick. Sometimes I do this with Alek. I will do it with our babies.
5. He loves Veterans.
6. He taught me how important it is to vote.
7. He is willing to shop with us. He carries our bags and has been known to slip us $100 bills on more than one occasion when we’ve run out of money.
8. We have the same thumbs.
9. He is a big softie and isn’t afraid to cry. He’s also intimidating as hell. Not sure how he pulls that off, but it works.
10. When he gives me advice I really and truly listen to it because I know it comes from a place of love that I can’t really understand.
11. He took us on lots of family trips and he was the one that did all the driving.
12. He is insanely generous. You have to work really hard to pick up the check.
13. He always has a pocket knife and black chapstick on his person.
14. He loves to read.
15. He is passionate about politics and always willing to get into a political debate at the dinner table. As a general rule, we don’t have the same views, but I’ve learned from him to appreciate that we live in a country where we can all say what we think.
16. He taught me how to shoot a gun.
17. He has lots of hobbies and isn’t afraid to spend time doing what he enjoys.
18. He believes in quality over quantity.
19. I know that there is always a place for me at home. And when I called and told him I was getting divorced and I needed to crash there for a while, he said stay as long as you like.
20. He has always done my taxes for free. And he’s not one of those accountants that wants to figure out ways around paying taxes. He is straightforward and honest and runs his business with integrity.
21. He will bring us home random gifts. Like when I showed him this BMX bike that I wanted and it showed up in our garage after school one day. No big deal. Or like a couple of years ago when he was shopping with my Mom and bought all of us these really lovely dresses. Just because. (I still have that BMX bike by the way.)
22. He takes care of his Dad.
23. He always has great hair.
24. He is an awesome tipper.
25. He is an even more awesome Papa to my nieces and nephew.
26. He is always up on the latest technology and isn’t afraid to try out something new. In fact he just switched from a PC to Mac.
27. If he wants something and he has the money for it, he gets it.
28. He always bought us flowers on Mother’s day.
29. He loves America.
30. He is passionate about food – especially Utah tomatoes. He will even help my mom can them so that he can have the best salsa, ketchup and marinara sauce year round.
31. He taught me to love 60’s rock music. Especially Credence Clearwater Revival.
32. He taught me how to drive a stick shift.
33. He is tough as nails. He can do wonders with a butterfly bandage.
34. He loves animals.
35. He knows how to use tools to build things and fix things and hang things. (Yeah, we hang up a lot of crap.)
36. He is a snazzy dresser. Like dry cleaned jeans snazzy.
37. He is spiritual.
38. He makes the best breakfasts. In fact, he has ruined me on breakfast cereal (wheat hearts, oatmeal, etc.) because his is ALWAYS perfectly cooked and never, ever has lumps. No one, nowhere else can do it like he does.
39. He used to do our hair before school and knew how to use a curling iron. He’d pull our pig tails so tight they would slant your eyes.
40. He is Mr. Action. If you have an idea, thought, plan, whatever, he is ON IT. I never would have met Karen without him. One of his clients recommended her and 10 minutes later I had an appointment.
41. Even though we are grown up and moved away, he is still our Dad and takes care of us in whatever way we need at this point in our lives.
42. He has always accepted my lifestyle choices even if he doesn’t agree with them.
43. He loves to have fun and creates opportunities for us to have fun as a family.
44. He hates boats, snorkeling, and the tea-cups at Disneyland as much as I do.
45. He is a cowboy.
46. He is always willing to help us out with whatever project we’ve cooked up and are a little bit over our heads with.
47. He’s sensitive to people’s feelings. He bought me this sad, perfect, beautiful chalk drawing when I got divorced. It was in the car with him when he picked up my Mom and I from the airport and it remains one of the most thoughtful and lovely gifts I’ve ever received.
48. He loves a clean car.
49. He has always been active and fit.
50. He charms all of our friends. They adore him.
51. He is always willing to learn new things.
52. He has never said I’m too old to do anything. And he will train for something until the Dr. tells him that he can’t do it.
53. He loves my Mom.
54. He is warm and affectionate.
55. He has always made us feel special and loved.
56. He supports whatever it is we want to do.
57. He supports our spouses.
58. He’s not someone that is “set in his ways”.
59. Disappointing him or letting him down is still one of my greatest fears.
60. He gave me (and is still giving me) a beautiful life.