And now … in no particular order … are the eight things that make my dad the bestest. Period.
#8 The pride he takes in his yard. My dad could easily spend from sun up to sun down working on his immaculately manicured lawn. He takes a sense of pride and ownership in having the greenest, lushest lawn in the neighborhood. Mowing may be half the battle, but he is also meticulous about trimming, weeding, edging and any of the other sundry maintenance items that go in to lawn craftsmanship.
#7 The littlest things excite him. About a month ago, Dad discovered Long John Silvers … again. I’m not sure why their fried fish brings him so much joy – but let’s not knock it. He eats there four times a week. The restaurant is attached to an A&W – so I asked him if he gets a root beer float too. “No, ice cream will clog your arteries – too much cholesterol,” he casually mentioned while wolfing down his third hush puppie.
#6 Dad taught me politeness. He probably doesn’t know it – but growing up I always watched how he interacted with people. He was kind and congenial to a fault. He’d open doors for folks, be neighborly and always have a nod and small smile for you. Hell, just yesterday he mowed our new neighbor’s lawn because the man broke his clavicle in an accident. The neighbor’s lawn currently looks damn good. (See #8)
#5 Low-key is the best key. My dad has forever been on an even-keel. He never gets mad, rarely gets annoyed and is forever calm. He was yin to Mom’s yang. She was perpetually high-strung. You know that feeling of Zen when you kinda stir from taking a nap? That’s my dad 24/7.
#4 The man hates nicknames. His name is Robert. Oh sure, the family can call him Bobby … but that’s the only semi-acceptable term of endearment he’ll allow. When I coined Mom’s nickname of “The Bevinator”, he found it wholly appropriate on so many levels. Later, when I started calling him “Captain Bobvious” – he forbid me to ever use that term again. I don’t think he’s ever forbid me to do anything. Robert got real. And then shit got real.
#3 He’s introspective and quiet … until he isn’t. And then you better listen. And you should … unless he’s talking about Fox News. Then you can just get up and walk out of the room.
#2 Four words: Pineapple Upside Down Cake. Make the man a pineapple upside down cake and he’ll be in heaven. He has a raging sweet tooth. Always has. In a pinch, homemade lemon bars and/or a pecan pie will suffice.
And the #1 thing I love about my Dad? He’s so humble and unassuming that he doesn’t realize how much he’s loved and adored. Thus, it’s about time he knew what he means to me … and countless other folks. Love you Dad … thanks for being you!