So. In honor of this special guy and his special day, I give you:
5 Things I've Come To Understand About Dads From Observing Joe Cacibauda.
5) Dads watch really strange and boring things on TV, like Western films and documentaries about rhinos.
I have yet to discover what is so great about Western films. I don't get it. Not only do they want you to take part in the "fun" and watch these types of things with them, they also think you want to hear all of their knowledge about it. Even when you don't. 12-year-old Alexa would have rolled her eyes and walked out of the room, but 20-year-old Alexa enjoys every second she gets to spend with her dad. Even if those seconds include never-ending documentaries about rhinos.
4) Dads don't see a problem with watching Jason Isaacs set a church on fire in The Patriot for the 1 millionth time, but do see a problem with you watching Steel Magnolias for the 300th (fabulous) time.
My dad could watch The Patriot every single day. Actually, I'm pretty sure he did watch it every day for at least 7 years of my childhood. "Mommmm, Dad is watching The Patriot.... again," my siblings and I would say to my mom as we waited to watch a movie. Don't worry, Mel Gibson, Joe Cacibauda always stuck up for ya. The Patriot is to my dad what Steel Magnolias is to me and my mom. My dad still walks into the room when my mom and I are watching Steel Magnolias and says, "That girl is dying AGAIN?" I mean, really.. what would possess a person to watch a hilarious movie with Sally Field and Dolly Parton when you could watch The Patriot for the millionth time?
3) Dads always stick with Mom's rules... until Mom leaves for a PTA meeting at school.
I was a clingy child (true story: it's the reason my mom calls me Ivy or Ivy Vine, because I would literally wrap myself around her leg when I was little), and I hated when my mom had to go somewhere. Which really makes no sense, because we all know rules basically go out the window when Dad is in charge. :) Healthy dinner? Uh.. McDonalds and a snowcone. In bed by 8:30? Dad would still be twirling me around the living room with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin blaring through our surround sound at 9pm. Those daddy/daughter traditions and my obsession with the trumpets at the beginning is how "The Way You Look Tonight" became our song.
2) Dads really try to make sure you stay single for a long, long time.
Sometimes they feel the need to tell your prom date that they have a shotgun and will hunt him down if anything goes wrong. Because being a teacher's kid isn't hard enough. Other times, they will continue the teachers' tradition to embarrass their kids at the senior luncheon on high school graduation day.
If you think being a regular teacher's kid is hard, try being a band director's kid. Did you father compose a song titled "If You Touch My Daughter You'll Meet Jesus Tonight" and perform it in front of your entire graduating class?
1) A really great daddy is the best thing a girl can have.
A daddy who let you and your sister put butterfly clips and bows in his hair.
Even now when his youngest daughter is 17.
A daddy who played catch with you and taught you everything you know about baseball and the New York Yankees. A daddy who taught you what a real gentleman is like just by loving your mom and standing by her side for 27 years (and counting).
A daddy who has made life so fun, and would do just about anything to get a laugh out of one of his kids.
Including, but not limited to, things like starting an icing fight with his youngest daughter while making gingerbread houses.
A daddy who has never stopped loving or encouraging you, and has always showed you what being an incredible teacher looks like.
Parents are so weird. You spend 18 years trying to figure out why the two people who love you more than anyone else in the entire world are constantly DRIVING YOU NUTS. And then suddenly you're 20 years old, trying to make it through your 3rd year of college, and visiting your 3rd grade focus child and telling her that you can't decide what to get your dad for his birthday.
"Ms. Alexa, you crazy. He probably don't care about presents, I bet he just wanna see you. That's all I ever wanted from my dad. I just wanted him to show up or somethin."
And then you feel like you've been hit with a ton of bricks. Because this precious girl in front of you barely knows her dad, but you've known yours for 20 years and it took you 18 and a half of those years to fully appreciate it.
A really great daddy is the best thing a girl can have, and the best thing a really great daddy can do is show up.
As for my dad? He always shows up.
And the best part: he never leaves.
(Yes. That's really what my father calls me. My mom's nickname for me is a plant, and my dad's is my least favorite vegetable. Is it because I'm the middle child?)