I love that when I drive with him in the car, he gets jumpy, nervously grunting and grasping the door handle exactly the same way he did when he taught me to drive 22 years go. He honestly believes I still can't make a left turn without him.
I love that when I was 14, he took me to our small-town police station, escorted me into an (empty) jail cell, sat down with me, looked me in the eye, and said "don't ever come here again." And I never did.
I love that he has modeled for me, by a fine and faithful example, the best way to love my children. And also the best way to embarrass them.
I love that even though he is modest and squeamish, he came into the delivery room when my third son was born, quietly finding a spot for himself in a corner that was as far as humanly possible from the Business End Of Things. Meeting Joseph was the sweetest moment of that day, but the look of awe on my dad's face was a close second.
I love that he has never, ever, ever, for as long as he has lived, counted a chicken before it was hatched.
I love (or, more accurately, amusedly tolerate) the fact that he uses my sons as his own personal recycling bins, giving them old golf balls and mysterious keys and ugly hats "because I thought they might like this." And my boys, of course, think that if it came from Pop, it must surely be great treasure.
I love that he sends me an e-mail and then calls me five minutes later to say "did you get my e-mail?"
I love that he enjoys my kids, and he affirms them, but he doesn't let them get away with acting like hooligans.
I love that when Hubs asked him for my hand in marriage, he didn't go easy on him, saying, "For 21 years we've been praying for the man who would marry our daughter. Tell me, do you think you're the man worthy of all that prayer?"
I love that my Joseph seems to be a genetic copy of him, in every way.
I love that he has always--quietly but surely--made me feel safe.
I love you, Dad. Happy birthday.