I admit, I stopped counting once you got to 50. And while I know your birth year (I think) and could figure it out, basically forever in my mind you're 54. And until Mom throws you a crazy "happy 60th" that's just always how it's going to be.
Today is my Dad's 54th birthday (just like last year and the year before I believe)! I tried to think of what to give him - I mean, what do you give the man who has everything you can afford and probably won't open the gifts he wants but you CAN'T afford until you play with them for a few weeks. And then he notices and says "hey, is that mine?" I mean, I COULD go for one of the latter group, but this year I'm not really sure which technological gadget to go for. New iPad? iPhone? Something cool I've never heard of?
In the end I decided to go with blog post. I mean, it's been awhile anyway and it's time to come back! And since it's no fun to open with "guys. Still have cancer turns out," I'm going to make my come back with: "My dad is the best!"
Why my dad is the best:
1. When we recently demanded that he pull all his strings and not to feel below stooping to use the "cancer" card - he managed to get me and ALL my siblings (and their spouses) and his spouse, tickets to The Hunger Games premiere and passes to the afterparty. Woot woot! That marks the first time we have ALL gone together to a premiere. And it was awesome.
2. After the premiere is over and we don't want to be carrying around all the souvenir cups we took that people had left behind in the theaters and some of us girls wanted to trade out our awesome high heels for more sensible partying shoes - dad took the armfuls of loot (and some free drinks) back to the car. But not before getting caught by fellow producers looking like he was robbing the place. If only they had let us have cameras in there it would've made for a blog worthy picture!
3. Even when I get out of surgery looking like death my dad leans over and first thing says "you're looking great!" A few days later when he comes by after work to check on me he'll say "oh cutie, you look SO much better now. Last time you looked like eek (and he makes a scary face)."
4. He calls everyone "cutie." Sometimes, without thinking, when he would coach my little brother's basketball team he would call them cuties too. This is what happens when you have predominantly daughters. We worked hard to let him know "don't call them that. Think of some other term. Like 'sport' or even just 'number 5'."
5. We go camping on the beach at Carpinteria nearly every year. And every year his vote is to stay in the nearby motel 6. But, generally, like a true camper (or a beach camper), he stays at camp with all of us. On his air mattress.
6. He still thinks its funny every time he goes on a bike ride in his spandex shorts and red pepper biking shirt, to come home and try to hug us when he's disgustingly sweaty. And it still makes us all run.
7. When we were kids and dad was in charge we knew we weren't REALLY going to get in trouble. If mom was in charge and threatened to spank you, oh you'd better knock it off because that threat was for real. But if dad was in charge and you wouldn't share the book and you got told on there was no worry in your heart. Dad was just going to tell you to get along. Muah-ha-ha-ha-ha!
8. When my dad traveled a lot when we were younger he would ALWAYS bring us home books. And we loved it. It was always exciting to see what new books we were going to get.
9. And, since dad traveled a lot when we were kids, WE got to travel a lot too - every summer and sometimes on breaks. We went all over the country - Oregon to Montana to Missississippi to New York and Illinois and Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut (lets be honest - once you're up there you hit all those little states), Florida, etc. It was awesome. Except Missississippi - I didn't love it there. I was pretty little but I think it sparked my phobia of hotel rooms being nasty. Now I'm a total hotel germaphobe and don't like any of the bedding touching my exposed body parts. Yes, that means sleeping in socks, long pants and hoodies. But enough about me.
10. One summer we went to Ireland. I remember at first REALLY not wanting to go. A summer away from my friends? BOO! But I loved it. Dad made it all happen. He also took us to Israel which was equally cool. A lot warmer than Ireland. But I loved both!
11. Watching funny TV shows with my dad is a riot. He laughs sooo loud and hard if he thinks something is funny you can't help but get a kick out of it and laugh along with him. He's passed this trait on to Bryn and Hannah. Watching TV with them is also hilarious.
12. Dad likes to keep up on good music. I don't know how much he beats Hannah and Delaney to the punch anymore what with the advent of iTunes, but when we were teenagers one of his favorite things to do was to buy whatever CD was hot that he knew we'd like and nonchalantly play it in his car while we were riding in it so we'd be like "DAD! Is this [fill in the blank]?!" And he could be like "oh, yeah. You like them?" As if he didn't know...
13. Dad is into gourmet cooking. And he's very methodical about it. Follows the recipes he finds online and turns out DELICIOUS meals. It takes him a good portion of the day and costs the entirety of the kitchen, but man it's worth it. He makes a stir fry that is to die for. ....He's come so far from when we were little.
14. When we were little and Dad was making dinner you could be sure it was going to be either pancakes or tuna cheese and rice. We were equally happy with either. :)
15. Dad loves ice cream. This comes in handy because whenever he has an excuse to buy it "it was on sale!" or "Mehgan needs to fatten up!" he will. And that's the only way it's making its way in THIS house. :)
16. Dad came to all our sporting events he could possibly make when we were growing up. Of course when he traveled he had to miss some, but I think it pained him not to be there more than it pained us. He loves cheering for his kids on the sidelines and he's pretty good at it. Although there have been a couple times where we've had to warn him "hey, shhhh - the ref is going to card you!" So it's always better if our team is winning by a lot - that way he can relax a little and just shake his head at bad plays instead of verbalizing his disapproval.
17. When we were little we always knew that if we wanted something from Dad (and now that I think of it, I don't know what kinds of things we were going for. Candy? Probably not even in our house. Money? To do what with? Freedom to run around? Already had it.) we knew to get Leah to ask him. She was the one mostly likely to come back with positive results. And we played that up for SURE!
18. When we were little we used to go to my dad's church softball games at night. They were so fun! We would play in the dirt (park?) with the other kids and occasionally pay attention to the game when our dad was up to bat. And dad was GOOD. So he usually homered. Which was exciting as a kid - cheering for your dad, MVP of the team!
19. Dad is an all around great athlete. And when he gets the chance to play basketball with his sons and sons-in-law (and Kevin) he's an unexpected threat. He's got a great little jump shot that, when on is ON. ...Of course he's 54 now (or thereabouts) so his knees aren't so into the basketball thing anymore, but in his hey-day, just like softball he was GOOD.
20. Dad's also not afraid to try snowboarding. He's pretty good, but the scariest moment of my LIFE (and this is true) was when he fell in front of me and, due to the narrowness of the trail and the number of people on it and how fast I was going, I couldn't stop or get out of the way and I hit him in the head with my board. I thought I'd killed him. He held his head and his face was grimaced in pain but he didn't say much. I, of course, was panicking like "dad?!? DAD?!" Luckily he ended up being okay. Still. I'm pretty sure his being okay was a miracle so I didn't have to forever live with having killed my father.
21. But sheesh, on to better memories! My dad loves books on tapes. Probably because he does a lot of driving. But this works out nicely for me because he passes all his read books on to me which come in very handy for MY long commute!
22. Every year for mother's day my dad gets my mom her favorite flowers. Every year. No matter where he might be in the world he makes sure it happens. I've always liked that.
23. Despite all his travels, my dad has made it to the births of all of his children! Given that there are six that's pretty good. Leah was a close call there and probably required some holding-in on my mom's part, but he still made it!
24. I have always felt very taken care of by my dad. I've always felt like if I ever needed something (or even really wanted it) he would make sure I had it. Even if it was to his own detriment (which he probably wouldn't tell me). It's just nice to know that no matter what I can count on my dad. He'll always be there for me.
25. I love to talk about work with my dad. HIS work - not mine. Mine's a bit boring to talk about. But HIS? I love it. I don't know that any or my siblings share this love, but I just love knowing what he's working on, how things are going, logistics, his thoughts, personalities he's juggling, etc. Love talking about work with him.
26. My dad has, and often wears, aloha shirts. It's definitely his thing. If he's going to dress up but not have to get TOO dressy - then it's an aloha shirt and khakis. I suppose being Polynesian he makes it work. :)
27. Whenever we're in Hawaii and my dad ends up talking to any locals he reverts to his version of pidgin. And that would be fine except...he grew up in North Hollywood where they speak normal English (maybe with a Jewish accent), so his pidgin is kinda main-land sounding. It's cute that he tries but we try to steer him away from that. You can say "bra" but otherwise...stick to the King's version of English. It's what you know.
28. My Dad's a big BYU fan. Maybe it's because that's where he met his wife, maybe it's because all his kids (so far) have gone there, or maybe it's just because he's a Cougar at heart and bleeds blue. Whatever it is, it's fun how much he cares about how their sports teams are doing (even if Bryn's not playing). He tapes mens and women's basketball games, volleyball games, and of course the football games. We'll go to any games that are being played out near us, and he gets season tickets to the football games even though we live in California and rarely get a chance to go to a game in person. Still. I think it's awesome.
29. Dad pretends to hate the dog although, when no one is around, he's secretly really nice to her. He won't let her on the couch, but if he's bbq-ing he'll sneak her bits of steak. She's constantly trying to win him over, but it only really works if they don't have an audience. :)
30. And last point, thank you Dad. For being there for the family after all these years! You've taken care of us, made us feel loved, and entertained us. I love you soooo much. You're the best dad ever. Even when you wear your biking gear. Happy birthday!!