My phone rang a few minutes after 6:00 this morning. Since it is January, it felt like 3:30 am. It was my dad. As soon as my mind registered that it was him, and that today is his birthday – his great big splashy 60th birthday, no less – I felt sure he was calling to tell me it was his birthday.  Sort of like a reverse happy birthday greeting.  And I felt a touch of guilt because he had to call me before I could call him even though the sun wasn’t up.

But of course that wasn’t what was happening.

“Hi, Dad. Happy Birthday,” I said, in what was no doubt my sluggish morning voice that sounds most like a sleepy child.

“Hi, sweetheart. Happy birthday to me,” he said. He had definitely been awake longer. “I want to have a breakfast birthday part at 7:00. Pancakes at IHOP. Do you think we can do it?”

Of course we can do it. It’s what we do in this family of mine.

My bleary-eyed boys were enchanted by the morning adventure, and they mobilized in no time at all. Right on schedule, we arrived at IHOP just after 7:00.  One of us parties in her jammies at such an hour, curly bedhead notwithstanding.  But everyone else was impeccably ready for a party.

Three orders of CinnaStacks (which are the passionate love child of cinnamon rolls and pancakes), two Funny Faces (chocolate chip pancakes with whipped cream faces and cherry eyeballs), chocolate milk for two, coffee for one, diet coke for two, and bacon for five.  Our server was a bald black man named Pinky.

I gave my dad a most suitable t-shirt:
Made in 1955. All Original Parts.

Nobody should ever say the best birthday parties happen after dinner.10929023_10205111546175703_6801229274550883286_n

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