Sunday, March 16, 2014

A Post for Dad.

So... Dad.... it's your birthday! And I know you get embarrassed about these kind of things, but I'm doing the world a favor in describing how AMAZING you are.  AND I have my own agency... so I do what I want, and I'm pretty sure Jesus approves of this.

Here are 10 reasons why I think you win the "Best Dad Ever" award:

1.  There are many "Dad-isms" that are absolutely legendary.

  • Before we say family prayer -- "Lettuce pray!"
  • "Rebellious subjects! Enemies to peace!"
  • Mom: "What do you want for your birthday?"     Dad: "YOU, baby!"
  • Hood child: "I'm hungry."     Dad: "I'm Steve. Nice to meet you."
2.  There's this song by John Mellencamp.  In a normal world, I would absolutely hate this song because it claims very little musical merit, but because of you, I love "Jack and Diane."  Since I was little, you did the finger-jiggle (a Hood secret, actually.)  And now, even when you're not in the car, EVERYONE does the finger-jiggle.

3.  You listen to the best radio stations.  I'm talking NPR, BBC, and your classical music stations.  My memories of early-morning seminary include you driving me to the Hall's house, listening to people with British accents reporting on BBC.  Now I listen to these stations, too.  It makes me feel classy, sophisticated, and scholarly.

4.  I think you and I have always had a special connection.  Yes, I've inherited your anti-social tendencies and your anxiety (which has been quite the thrill, really), but we can talk about anything.  Ever since I was in grade school, I would go to your room before bedtime because I knew you would be reading your scriptures.  And then, we would talk about everything...how I was feeling, how I liked school, what I was worrying about (everything), and even romantic stuff.  Now, it's like a tradition, isn't it? Even now, if I am home, I still love talking to you when you're reading in the bedroom.  You always listen, and you give the best advice.

5.  Dad, you're a flipping genius.  Like Mom, you answer all of the questions on Jeopardy correctly.  You taught political science in college, and I feel like all "political" people (with their heads screwed on correctly, of course) are scholarly.  Heck, you could be President of the United States, and I'm pretty sure all of our nation's major problems would be fixed.  I can say something completely and entirely ludicrous, but I can validate any statement in saying, "Well my dad's a doctor.... so there!" Whether you like it or not, Dr. Hood has a beautiful ring to it.  And now, you are Mr. Vice-President-of-Academic-Affairs at Snow College.  Now that speaks genius.

6.   You always treat people with so much compassion.  I remember we were in Amish country, and a lady of rather large stature fell down.  You immediately came to her aid to make sure she was okay.  Another time, you came home with your shirt all bloodied.  My first thought, "Oh man... he's killed someone.  But a bad guy, of course!"  Nope -- a teenager got in a bad car accident, and you stayed with her, talking to her in order to prevent her from going into shock.  You stayed by her side until EMS came.  You are a HERO!

7.  Dad, you make me feel beautiful.  When I was home, and I would come down the stairs for Church or for a new day at school, you would always say, "Well, don't you look perty!" What girl doesn't like to be told that they're pretty? You always compliment me, and it builds my confidence.  Your opinion matters most to me, and I want nothing more than to make you proud.

8.  I love how you hate dancing because I hate dancing.  When I was still a Young Woman, you would absolutely dread going to the stake dances.  I hated going, but whenever you had to supervise, I often came to keep you company.  Together, we would stand in the empty corner of the cultural hall, watching with bewilderment as a bunch of teenagers danced crazily to tasteless, loud music.  Our conversations were even better.  They went something like this:
     Me:  I don't really like this.
     You:  Me neither.
     Me:  So what do we do?
     You: You wanna grab a frosty at Wendy's? Nobody will notice.
     Me:  Let's go.

9.  You have been an incredible support in helping me deal with my anxiety.  I know, these past couple of months have been a roller coaster, haven't they?  And yet, you and Mom were with me every step of the way.  When times were particularly difficult, I called you every night, even if you were asleep, and you would always calm me down.  You understand me on a level that nobody else can claim.  As I reflect upon my fervent petitions to Heavenly Father, I have realized that major answers to my prayers have come in the form of an individual... and that's you!

10.  And finally, Dad, you are a wonderful example of a Father.  You are a worthy Priesthood holder, you have raised a firm family in the Gospel, and you love your family so much.  When we went to the Manti temple just a couple of days ago, I felt so proud to have you perform the ordinances with me.  You always say that you feel blessed to have been given such a wonderful daughter.  Well, every day, I wonder about what I have done to deserve such a wonderful father.

Happy Birthday, Dad! This is the least I can do to express my sincere appreciation and love for you.  I could throw a MASSIVE surprise party with all of your buddies, but I know you would rather have a hernia.  You deserve the happiest of days, and it was so fun to spend spring break with the whole family. I love you!

I'm not sure why, but I really like this picture of you.