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Happy Birthday, Daddy

March 16, 2009

Yesterday was my dad’s birthday. He called to tell me he and mom were back in town and I was in the middle of four square and totally forgot to even say, “Happy birthday.”

Mom’s 50th was last October, so I blogged 50 things I love about my mom. I think dad’s on 52, but he says you stop counting after 50 anyway. So here are 50 things I love about my dad on (the day after) his birthday.

  1. I’m his favorite daughter. I’m his only daughter, but I’ve always known that if he had a dozen I’d be his favorite.
  2. He let me win races when I was little.
  3. He’s always been proud of me and I never had to do anything to earn it.
  4. He taught me to enjoy a good back rub.
  5. When I was little he used to throw me in the air over his head and catch me. And when I say “throw” I don’t mean “toss.” I mean “throw.” I remember flying up in the air and watching him put his arms down by his side while he waited for me to fall. He nearly gave my grandmother a heart-attack once, I hear.
  6. He’s blue collar, and probably the reason that I think blue collar is the way to go.
  7. He used to take me on motorcycle rides around the neighborhood.
  8. He used to let me “work” with him. I got to ride on lawn mowers. I got up early one morning to lay sod at NIMC with him.
  9. After a long day of work, in the fall, he would still come home and pick up my brother and me and take us to the biggest leaf pile you’ve ever seen. Leafs they’ll hauled all day off of clients’ yards. He’d back up his pick-up and open the hatch so we could jump from the back of the truck.
  10. He loves my mom a ton.
  11. He’s an honorable man. He puts his family first.
  12. He helped teach me the value of family. He’s there for his family, and as often as I think he’d rather not be driving all weekend, he hardly misses an opportunity to take a long weekend in Springfield with his in-laws.
  13. He taught me how to make grilled cheese. It’s one of the only food items I can make, but I make a mean frickin’ grilled cheese.
  14. He’s honest, even about his mistakes.
  15. He taught me how to drive stick. I sucked, but he kept trying.
  16. He likes football. A lot. I don’t know anything about football, but I can’t help but get into a good football game when I watch one. It’s in my blood.
  17. He’s smarter than he thinks he is. I don’t know if he was just always the “jock” or what, but he doesn’t speak up much. I think he gets a lot more than he says, though.
  18. He has a storehouse of weird when-I-was-younger stories. If he and his brother get on a roll, man, watch out.
  19. He taught me how to really enjoy a nap.
  20. He taught me how to really enjoy a nap in a hammock.
  21. He made me a little crazy about my yard. This is going to be the first full spring/summer that I actually have a yard and the veggie garden is cut, flower beds are mulched, bulbs are sprouting, the magnolia is budding, and I’ve got plans.
  22. He likes good, simple meals. Husband thinks it’s boring, and shook his head when I explained, “He’s a steak-and-potatoes guy. And he likes his steak to taste like cow and his potatoes to taste like dirt.”
  23. He’s clean. He has never smoked, and I’ve never seen him drunk. I’m sure he had his moments in college, but when he had a family he knew what that meant – and still does. I’ve heard a lot of horror stories, so I don’t take this for granted.
  24. He has a good sense of humor. He likes people falling and ventriloquists, and when something gets out of hand he stops laughing. Not to make a statement, either. I think it just stops being funny.
  25. He’s the dog whisperer. Seriously. Show me the meanest dog you know and I’ll show you my dad’s new best friend.
  26. I don’t think he feels pain. I don’t know how many stitches and scars he has, but he tends to under-react to things like severed arteries in his arms.
  27. He can tell the same joke a half-dozen times in a week and still chuckle – even if you roll your eyes at him ’cause you’re tired of hearing it. “A Bears fan and a Packer’s fan are in a men’s room …”
  28. He’s a nice guy. He’s not a softy-nice-guy, but he’s a nice guy. He’ll come and fix your flat tire even though it’s late. He’ll lend you $20 even though he’s not rolling in money.
  29. He’s not dead. Between the ridiculous stories from his childhood, his apparently numbed nerve endings, and some mistakes he’s made – that’s really something. And I appreciate it.
  30. Camping. He likes camping. And some of my favorite memories of camping where waking up early and sitting by a fire with just my dad while he made coffee.
  31. He’s kind of an adrenaline junkie. I already mentioned the motorcycle. When we go on vacations he wants to do the water slides and the four wheelers and such.
  32. But at the same time he knows how to relax. I mentioned the naps and the hammock, but it’s more than just naps. He likes to sit on a nice day and hug a loved one, and he helped teach me how to slow down every once in a while.
  33. He’s solid. I’ve never worried about my parents getting divorced. I’ve never worried about him going off the deep-end on anything. He’s not a mid-life-crisis sort of guy.
  34. He dislikes fancy restaurants.
  35. He likes to pretend that he’s going to ruin the end of a movie for you by telling you, “They all die in the end anyway.”
  36. He still likes comic book movies.
  37. He does his best to get my mom to relax, which can be quite a challenge sometimes.
  38. He calls me randomly if he hasn’t talked to me in a couple days.
  39. He gets lonely if mom goes on a weekend retreat. He doesn’t sleep well if she’s not there.
  40. He’s great at establishing and maintaining long-running jokes.
  41. He’d give his wife and kids the world if he could. I know it.
  42. He’s put up with some really stupid boyfriends.
  43. I think he genuinely likes Husband.
  44. Neither my brother nor I turned out to be really athletic or in to sports, but I never heard anything about it from my quarterback-turned-football/wrestling/volley ball-coach dad. He did make a comment once about having a daughter that could slam any guy on a wrestling mat. I didn’t say anything at the time, but hoped for months that he’d bring it up again so I could say, “Heck yes.” I didn’t know how to bring it up, and he didn’t mention it ever again.
  45. He believes in me.
  46. He’s an amateur photographer. As I started to explore my own interest in photography, he was even brave enough to let me use his 35 mm.
  47. He doesn’t lose his temper much at people. I don’t really remember him ever yelling at me.
  48. He works hard.
  49. His favorite teevee show is Extreme Home Makeover. Maybe that seems silly, but given the amount of filth on teevee and the number of filthy men in our society – I really appreciate it.
  50. He’s a tough-guy, hard workin’, blue collar sap. Let the record show he does not cry at movies or songs, but there are a few that strike him – normally the ones about daddies and daughters. Part of me feels guilty for growing up, going to college, and getting married. But the other part of me is so glad I’m the daughter that comes to mind when he TiVo’s those sappy songs.

Happy birthday, Dad. Thanks for everything so far. I love you.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Brian Nuss permalink
    March 16, 2009 7:53 pm

    I love ‘da Lexi.

    • Lex permalink
      March 17, 2009 10:56 am

      :) Case in point on the long-running joke thing.

  2. Tami permalink
    March 17, 2009 11:52 am

    adorable.

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  1. Posts about work at home moms as of March 16, 2009 | Bizzie Mommy

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