Corniness runs strong in my family. My uncle has it. My father has it. And no thanks to him, I have it. (That was a brilliant Star Wars reference in case you missed it.)
Growing up, I listened to his Beach Boys and Mamas & the Papas cassettes so much he was forced to instruct me not to refer to him as Daddy-o. I listened so much he had to replace some of the tapes. My dad is the first person who talked to me like a grown-up; which I absolutely loved because he managed to make me feel like his precious little girl at the same time.
During my fledgling years, Dad was firm and no-nonsense when he needed to be; earning the respect of his children. However, he didn’t take himself too seriously. Still doesn’t. He fits in wherever he goes; making friends quickly and easily.
If we eat at a Steak ‘n Shake, I hear the story of his first job for the millionth time. If we are in an Orlando Steak ‘n Shake, I hear the first job story coupled with the, my-childhood-home-used-to-be-where-the-East-West-Expressway-is-now story. But as an adult, I am no longer embarrassed when he engages the distracted waitress in this conversation. I just smile in amusement.
Since his birthday is today and I am staring at the package I have yet to put in the mail for him, he will be the one smiling in amusement at my typical tardiness. At least his Father’s Day present will be early.
Happy birthday Daddy! I love you!