Who Doesn’t Love a Party

The Boy turned 27 on Friday. And despite his growing loathe of birthdays, his best friend of ten years and I decided to throw a party for him.

I’m finding more and more as I go along that I really like to plan events and parties. Perhaps it’s a little Clarissa Dalloway of me, but at least you won’t find me at the bottom of the river with rocks in my coat pockets.

While we figured everything else out about the party, I couldn’t figure out how to get The Boy off the lake. If the Boy ever had to choose between saving his jet ski or myself from a burning building, he would definitely have a serious crisis of conscience going on. I put The Pretty Twin and my father-in-law on the case. While I spent the entire day of the party getting prepped and shopping, I had to hedge The Boy’s calls as to coordinating our schedules for when I was going to come out to the cabin, and the Grand Plan was going into action.

To get The Boy off of the lake, my father-in-law plied him with information about a (non-existent) pontoon boat somewhere in the Burton area that was on sale for $4,200, and that the whole family was going to go look at it. So, The Pretty Twin and The Boy piled into his truck, any my in-laws piled into their car, headed out from the cabin and into Geauga county.

Along the way, there is a section of highway which, if you turn right, you go into Burton, if you turn left, you go into Newbury (where [Best Friend] lives). When the convoy turns left, The Boy is confused, but looks carefully along 4 miles of the highway, looking for a pontoon. As they pass Best Friend’s house, the following conversation ensues.

[Pretty Twin]: Dude, why don’t you just stop at [Best Friend]’s house and ask him where the pontoon place would be.

[The Boy]: No, it looks like he has company…

[Pretty Twin]: No, I really think that you need to stop at [Best Friend]’s house.

[The Boy]: No, dude, he’s got company!

[Pretty Twin]: Dude! The party’s for you! Way to ruin the surprise.

The Boy hates surprises (so do I), which is why his reaction was so hysterical to see his face when he pulled into the driveway and realized how many people knew when he didn’t. Once he got over the initial shock of the surprise, we all had fun.

I couldn’t have asked for a better turnout: I love to hang out with The Brothers and with Best Friend, and really all of The Boy’s family. We don’t get to get together very often (Officer D lives down in Lebanon, and doesn’t get to come up very often), so having a party was a fantastic way to get everyone together. There was a lot of good food, good beer, and cornhole. The party lasted into the wee hours, slowing down in the most perfect way, my favorite way: us sitting around the fire: drinking, smoking, talking and laughing.

All in all, the party was a total smash.

Happy Birthday, Monster. Thanks for being such a good sport. I love you.

Happy Father’s Day

I may look more like my mother, but I am more like my father in my mannerisms. Though I did inherit his almond-shaped eyes, I also inherited his sensitivity, creativity, over-active brain, and his nerdiness. He and I can both take the grinding pain of surgery with stride and with grace, but neither us are able to shake the perhaps-unintended slight.

This is a man who spent the first five years of his life living in a post-war-torn Germany with his mother. This is a man who spent the next five years after that living in an orphanage in Pennsylvania while his mother worked at a nursing home in the hopes of a better life. This is a man who survived a difficult family situation and left home at 17 to work 40 jobs by the time he was 30. This is a man who was drafted to serve his adopted country in the Vietnam war.

This is a man who wanted better for his two children than he had for himself, and worked hard to be slow to anger but quick to teach. This is a man who loves to create with his hands. This is a man who loves nothing more than to walk out in the country with the sun on his face and the wind at his back.

This is a man I almost lost to cancer in 2006. This is a man who bravely went to chemotherapy for six weeks, and never openly complained, even as he lost weight and his hair. This is a man who will have been in remission for two years in October. This is a man for whom I will always walk for to raise awareness for the disease.

This is a man who took me to three years of father/daughter dances at Beaumont. This is a man who helped me work on grade-school science projects (usually at the zero-hour); helped me work on art projects in college; taught me how to use a table-saw, a bandsaw, a belt-sander, a drill, taught me how to plumb, how to do electrical wiring, how to lay laminate flooring, and hang tile. This is a man that I will dance with at my wedding.

And though it hasn’t always been easy to live with him, and have had some pretty terrible fights, I will always be proud of him, and I will always know how lucky I am to have him.

This man is my father.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad. I love you.