The ole man does not like a lot of pomp and circumstance, but dammit Dad, today you are getting a little.
There are a couple things you need to know about my father:
- He is the cutest little man you will ever meet (and when I say little, I mean the guy only tops out at about 5'5).
- He has a great sense of humor, but it's impossible to make him laugh. If you can get a chuckle out of my father, you might want to take a bow or a victory lap.
- He can give you directions to anywhere on the planet- and you're gonna get them whether you need them or not.
- He has seen every episode of NCIS at least three times.
- He can tell what episode of Law & Order is showing in the first five seconds
- Even though he is well into his 60's, he still plays on two softball teams, umpires baseball for both high school and club teams, and still manages to find time for a couple rounds of golf each week.
- Ever summer he dons a hat will a collection of beach tags that date back to 1992 (ironically, as a senior citizen, he doesn't require a beach tag anymore).
Finally, he's the best father four kids could ever have.
In honor of your day, my brothers and I have compiled some of our favorite "Dad Moments":
Our father, without fail, always calls us on our birthday to sing. Russ says, " I always let Dad's call on my birthday go to voicemail. The way he sings Happy Birthday always makes me giggle (yes a 41-year-old man giggling). I save the voicemail to listen to when I'm feeling blue."
"When I first started working at Torresdale [Country Club in Philadelphia], I got Dad to play golf. I'm not sure if it was his first time ever, but it was his first time in a really long time. When we get to the ninth hole, which is a par 3, he hits his shot to about 2 feet. I don't hit shots to 2 feet and he did it on his first time! As we're riding up to the green I keep saying how he's going to make a birdie his first time out and he says all he wants is a par. It was 2 feet. Sure enough he missed it and made his par but it's what I remember about our first time and I'm real glad that he took it up. I really look forward to playing with him every time I come home."
"When I was in 8th grade Andy was playing in a Bensalem Hockey game at the Spectrum. This was about the coolest thing ever. Dad came to Armstrong and got me out of school early so that I could attend the game and watch my big brother play on the same ice that the Flyers had one 2 Stanley Cups.
We get to the Spectrum and we sit behind the net, probably about 20 rows from the ice. The place was empty, it was a high school game so 200 people showed up, maybe. It was warm ups and the Owls were shooting practice shots at the net we were behind. I was talking to the person next to me I saw their face grimace. I turn my head towards the ice to see this black blur headed at my head at about 70 mph. Next thing I know is Dad's hand is in front of my nose and the puck deflects off of his thumb and sails up and away.
They say only Jesus saves more than Bernie Parent, I've aways felt Dad was a close third."
In the summer after my 8th grade year, my parents sent me to finishing school in Philadelphia. Every week, my father would drive me into the city, and every week that man would blast Bruce Springsteen's "Badlands". However, he was not content with just listening-- oh no. My father sang that song at the top. of. his. lungs. When the song was over, he would rewind the tape and play it again. Every single week, both ways.
I hated that song and it became a family joke about my hatred for the song and how he insisted to play it over and over again.
To this day, whenever I hear that song, I think of the ride down I95 in my dad's Grand Prix. Now I smile at the fond memory instead of grimace at the song.
Happy Birthday Daddy-O. And you know what? I'm throwin' in a Happy Father's Day too, just because I know you hate the recognition.
Thank you for being there for us. Thank you for teaching us everything from riding a bike to how to be a good person. Mom has always said, "Your father is a good man", but she didn't need to tell us. We already knew.
We love you so much.