Today my dad turns 50. That used to sound really old. And when you consider it’s half of a hundred, it still sounds kind of crazy. My dad was born in the early ’60′s. That’s still weird.
But he’s one of the youngest 50 year olds I know. Here’s 50 things about him that I really love.
1. He’s one of the most adventuress people I know.
2. He’s a dreamer. And oh the dreams he dreams.
3. He’s a student. For his whole life he’ll be a student. He loves to learn and he’s really good at it.
4. He’s completely smitten with my mother. I think he likes her even more now than he did when they met.
5. He loves Jesus. Not in like a mushy, kissy love way. He loves him in a “want to know everything I can about him because he’s so incredible” kind of way. He studies him.
6. He takes care of us. Even now when we’re old and grown (ha) and we no longer need him to put food on the table or pick us up when we fall down, he is still very much a father who loves and cares for us.
7. He gets really excited about things. He for real gets so excited about prospective vacations and get togethers and new homes and businesses and opportunities.
8. He loves history. He’s kind of a nerd about it, but in a way that makes him intimidatingly intelligent.
9. He always says, “well, I don’t really know that much about it….” whenever you ask him a question, but then he blows your mind with how much he knows.
10. He really, really loves his granddaughter.
11. He really, really loves me. I’m his favorite child.
12. He looks very handsome in his Navy blouse. :)
13. He always let me tag along to the hospital and dinners and church outings when I was growing up.
14. He would play endlessly in the swimming pool when we were growing up and can hold his breath underwater for a ridiculous amount of time.
15. One time he hurt his back so bad that he couldn’t get up out of the floor so he just worked from the floor taking phone calls and everything.
16. He would always stop at gas stations when we were growing up and let us all unload out of the car and go in to pick a snack.
17. He would sit in the floor and play cars with us, and even play along with our explosions and ridiculous antics.
18. When we drove down the road, we would play ship and there was a gunner and navigator and of course he was always the captain.
19. He listens to NPR.
20. He wrote me letters almost every week when I was in college. And not short notes, two page letters. I kept them all.
21. He took me on dates when I was growing up. Fancy restaurants with fancy drinks and musicals where I got to wear pretty dresses.
22. When I was in college, he worked full time as a pastor all day and would then work all night at a rehab home for men with addiction. And he still wrote me notes, and went to my brother’s basketball games, and mowed the lawn and held my mom’s hand.
23. He always holds hands with my mom. In the car, in parking lots, at the movies. It’s gross and adorable.
24. He would always wrestle in the floor with us and he always let us think that we were winning. And we would pretend to be hurt and he would come to our rescue and then we would ATTACK.
25. When I would come home from college we would always go out to breakfast and I would order biscuits and sausage gravy and we would sit and talk for a long time about dreams and goals and the future and finances.
26. He is overflowing with wisdom.
27. He really likes arcade games.
28. He will always, always be a kid.
29. He is an incredible pastor and desires to lead people to cross and then walk with them as they learn what it looks like for them to carry their own cross.
30. He has the ability to teach scripture in a way that makes you want to know more and more and more about Jesus Christ.
31. He doesn’t belly laugh out loud all the time, but when he does, it’s really awesome.
32. He loves eggs.
33. He jokingly gives my mom a hard time about pretty much everything, but he actually thinks she’s the most wonderful person alive.
34. When I was in middle school I wrote a note to a friend that said something like “what my mom doesn’t know won’t hurt her.” I left the note open on my mom’s computer. (genius) He took me to the mall, bought me clothes and a hamburger, and then told me I would never speak to or about his wife in that way. I never did it again.
35. He took a break from pastoring and became a certified diver.
36. We got scuba certified together before I got married and whenever we went in dark water he would hold my hand to keep me safe.
37. We were scuba diving together once and suddenly found ourselves surrounded by sea snakes. We both freaked out a little, but don’t tell anyone.
38. He officiated mine and my husband’s wedding and his words and our tears is one of my favorite memories. It is a moment in time that encapsulates our entire relationship as we laughed through our sobs.
39. He bought IBC root beer for our entire wedding party on the day of our wedding. He buys IBC root beer for all the things that are cool and it makes them cooler.
40. When my brothers and I were little, we would ride on his shoulders while he mowed or walked or sometimes while he just sat on the couch.
41. When I was in high school he bought a motorcycle and it was super rad.
42. He was a youth pastor for several years and as part of a challenge to the youth group, he shaved a cross into the back of his head. My little brother wanted to be like him, so he did it too.
43. He tells everyone what a terrible singer he is, but it didn’t keep him from singing oldies music in the car with me when I was little.
44. His clothes never, ever, ever have wrinkles.
45. He likes blue orbit gum and blue Monster.
46. He used to drive a VW Bug in high school.
47. He has a gift with words. He can formulate them in inspirational ways.
48. He loves the drums in Phil Collin’s “In the Air Tonight.”
49. He would always come inside from the cold when we were little and put his freezing hands on our backs. He thinks he’s so funny.
50. He allowed my brothers and I to grow up in the confidence that he and my mother would always be married and he would always love us and take care of us.
I love you Daddy! Happy 50th birthday! Wish I could spend it with you.