Today is my Dad’s birthday! Because of my mom’s work schedule though, we’ve postponed his birthday dinner celebration till next weekend!
My dad’s name is Jeff. He and my mum, Julie, have been together since the mid 80’s. They celebrated their 28th wedding anniversary a few months ago. Dad is endlessly patient, a chatterbox, hilarious and amazing. He is also a sports fanatic. He loves his soccer (I believe his team is Arsenal) rugby (All Blacks, of course), and he takes quite an interest in a lot of others. For today’s post, I’m going to reflect on things I’ve learnt from him.
- How to get rid of hiccups – Dad would suddenly jump at us and yell when we had hiccups as kids. It scared me so much, but the hiccups would be gone. One account of dad scaring me as a kid had nothing to do with hiccups actually, he was watching his soccer and someone did an impressive goal. Toddler Angela was trying to figure out how to walk close by, and Dad yelled/cheered so loud that apparently I burst into terrified tears and fell over. Dad still likes to tell that story.
- Rambling – My rambling skills come from my Dad. He is the King of Rambles. He’s also the King of Chit Chat. Dad can talk with anyone, for ages. He loves telling stories (and Dad jokes), and can make people laugh. It’s a skill I envy. I can ramble and tell stories, but not to a crowd, and definitely not to someone I just met. Dad has hosted events before, as well as talked in front of large groups of people and improvised a speech. His favourite stories to tell us growing up were “Well, when I was your age…” followed by what we knew were elaborate stories, but still fun to listen to.
- Using a computer – I learnt how to maneuver computer programs from dad, from Microsoft Word, to Paint, and everything in between.
- Computer Games – Dad played a number of games, most notably RPG ones. He introduced these to me and my siblings, and we all still love to play them.
- Chores – I hated chores growing up. I got so annoyed when I was asked to help, and I would sulk and complain. Dad asked me, if I thought he wanted to do the dishes. I figured he did as he did it everyday without complaint, and he told me he didn’t but he did it anyway because it needed to be done. A new perspective was introduced, and a life lesson learnt. I still do the dishes everyday, even though I don’t want to.
- Laugh loud and proud – Dad used to ’embarass’ me when I was younger. When he took us to the movies, or in general, if he found something funny, he would laugh. Loudly, and heartily. Past me would try to hide and ask him to not laugh so loud. Now I will explode with laughter if something makes me happy, or I see something funny. Why hold back on the joy?
- Driving – Dad was the one who took me out to drive for the first couple of times. He was endlessly patient and calm, even when I tried to drive backwards up the curb. He suggested I learn to drive manual, rather than just automatic. This way, I can drive any car. I’ve stuck with that.
- Board Games – As well as computer games, dad taught us a lot of card and board games. Growing up, we had Friday Family night, where we would play games for hours. Dad also started the trend of shouting UNO when you had uno, and then repeatedly tapping your card as loud and obnoxiously as you can until your turn came around again. He also invented games to play at our birthday parties.
- Trivia – Dad is a never ending fountain of knowledge. He always wins all the trivia games (Buzz got intense at times) because of this extensive knowledge. He is especially a pro at sports, geography, general knowledge, older music, history, and everything else.
- Movies – As I said before, dad took us to the movies often. Every school holiday, he took us to see at least two movies in the cinema. Sometimes, we saw both in the same day, stopping for some McDonalds for lunch in between. They were amazing days. He also loves to watch all the action movies at full volume when he’s alone in the house.
- Jobs – Dad helped me write my very first CV.
- Love – Dad would joke about threatening off any possible suitors for me and my sister. However, he was very open and welcoming to both of our partners. He is also always complimenting Mum, telling her he loves her, hugging her, and making weird jokes with her. Even after being together for over 30 years. They are very much couple goals.
- Glasses and contacts. Dad is the one who taught me how to take care of my glasses and make the switch to contacts. To be fair, it’s also his genes that mean I have to wear the damn things. Mum’s vision is perfect, yet me and both my siblings all have terrible eyesight. Thanks Dad 😛
- Journal Keeping – I have tried to keep a diary so many times. I’ve only held through for one year. I just always forget for ages, then I can’t fill in the gaps. Dad is the inspiration and goal for this. He has kept a daily journal since the year he first went to the Philippines back in ’86 or ’87. Every day. For every. Single. Year. That’s at least 30 years worth. Growing up, me and my siblings loved rifling through them. We liked to read the entries from the day we were born. His first word he wrote on December 9, 1991 was WOW!!! 😀 (He mentioned this in his wedding speech)
- Pride – Dad often told us kids that he was proud of us. Growing up, we all did fairly well in school, and he would tell us how amazing we are. Most recently, at my wedding, Dad told me how proud I made him, how I had grown into an amazing woman, and how he was so thrilled to walk me down the aisle. His background photo on his phone is him walking me down the aisle 😀
Happy 55th Birthday Dad!! I love you 😀