The 10 Good Things About Barbara

Barbara is was my next-door neighbor. Yesterday I found out that she passed away on Sunday. I’ve known this was coming. In fact, I’d known it for the past 5 years, the length of time she has been fighting cancer. Who takes chemo meds for 5 years? Barbara does. She is such a fighter. Ironically, once she started being treated by Hospice, she had a bad reaction to the morphine pain killers and they moved her out of her home and into the Hospice facility just a mile from our street. They kept her comfortable and provided space for her family to gather and keep her company which was expected to be just days. But a week went by and I joked that maybe she just wanted to watch one more Super Bowl. Then another week went by. I told her family how much Barbara taught me about fighting hard to live another day. I told them how glad I was that if she couldn’t be right next door, at least she could be down the street, comfortable until the end with Hospice care.

As an elementary teacher I discovered Judith Viorst book The Tenth Good Thing About Barney and recommend to families when they are dealing with a family death. I even envision having it read-aloud at my funeral, one more read-aloud shared with my friends gathered. Today I reread this sweet book about a family who has lost a cat. As I walked to school today, I began making my list about the 10 Good Things About Barbara.

  1. Barbara was a good resident of 12th Street.
    • My street only runs one block and has only 9 houses on it. When we moved in 18 years ago, both Jack and Barbara lived next door. We in our 40s with 2 school-age children, they both in their 60s, Jack’s health failing. Barbara always shared smiles, gave a wave, and stopped for short chats as we stood in our adjacent yards.
  2. Barbara was a storyteller.
    • I started getting in the habit of stopping by every few months once she told me she was fighting cancer. I’d ask how she was doing and I’d hear her latest medical plan. Then she’d tell me stories. About her kids and the teachers they had. Thinking back, a few of those stories she told me more than once but I didn’t care. She enjoyed talking and reminiscing and I enjoyed the peaceful conversation as I sat in her living room.
  3. Barbara liked my cooking.
    • I am not a fancy cook at all. I feed my family using easy-to-make recipes. Over the past few years, I’ve made extra on some Sundays and took Barbara a serving. She raved about my chicken salad I made. I had to laugh when I admitted to her the recipe. “Take 2 cups of chicken salad purchased from the grocery story deli. Add sliced grapes and chopped walnuts.” I’m glad she liked how I “cooked”!
  4. She taught me how to prime her lawn mower and let me borrow it all summer long for the last five summers.
    • My lawn mowers seemed to be cursed. One stopped working. We bought another and it stopped working after one mow. After getting it repaired, it again stopped working. Barbara kindly allowed me to borrow her very basic and very reliable mower. However, the first time I could not get it to start. I sheepishly knocked on her door to explain my defeat. “Did you prime it?” I looked at her blankly and she came outside and showed me this red rubber button on the front of the mower. She pushed it three times. I pulled on the mower cord. It started right up!
  5. Barbara was a reader.
    • Barbara spent lots of time reading when she first was diagnosed with cancer. As a reader myself, I asked if I could get her books when I visited the library. I brought her mysteries and a series about ladies who met and quilted. She loved to read!
  6. Barbara stayed current by daily reading the newspaper.
    • Both Barbara and I receive home delivery of the Washington Post. Each morning she’d read. To help her, I got used to throwing her newspaper on her front porch. And for the past year, using the plastic bag it comes in, I hung it from the screen door handle so she didn’t have to bend down to get the paper. Last week, I was leaving my house as the paper was being delivered and no paper was delivered next door. Barbara’s imminent passing started to sink in as I realized her family must have cancelled her Post subscription.
  7. Barbara loved her cats.
    • I don’t have any pets but I always enjoyed Barbara’s cats when I stopped by for a visit. I especially liked watching how they sat, with the front door opened and stared out through the screened door. It was especially fun to watch when the chipmunks were out and would scamper in front of the door, teasing the cats.
  8. Barbara quilted and knitted and croqueted.
    • Keeping her hands busy was important to Barbara until the very end. She made so many beautiful things. But my favorite was the adorable knitted coat she made for her great-granddaughter this past summer.
  9. Barbara knew Arlington as she had lived in our county all her life.
    • This year I am teaching at Swanson MS, just up the street from my house. When I told Barbara about my new job, she proudly told me she attended this school in the 1940s! She told me lots of stories about so many places in Arlington and what things used to be like. As I approached the Hospice facility to visit Barbara, I smiled thinking how she could tell me all about what this building used to be. Instead, she was resting peacefully each time I stopped by. At least if Barbara couldn’t be in her own home at the end, she was in a familiar Arlington landmark.
  10. Barbra was the matriarch for 84 years of a good, strong family.
    • As one exits the physical world, it allows time for reflection. Barbara met Jack and happily married her. They had lovely children that had lovely children and some of them have had lovely children. One life leading to some many more lives. And all have Barbara’s strong character and perseverance. She lives on in her family.

I’m lucky to have lived next door to Barbara.
I will miss her.



Another Saturday Funeral

Saturday I found myself at a funeral. Another, as I wrote about attending the funeral for the mother of another Slicer HERE. This Saturday it is to celebrate the life of a man that was a good friend to my parents. I sat in the church and was taken back to another time – growing up during the 70s and 80s. Thanks to my parents and this man, I remember so much laughter and so many fun times during the summer at our community pool (a pool I can proudly say came to be because my father thought the neighborhood needed a pool and in the 1960s, such an idea from a man and a handful of neighbors could build a community pool, but that’s another slice).

My memories were summer memories. This man always wore a big smile and told jokes. He got all us kids laughing and cheering as he announced the events on Saturdays during the swim meets. I sat and laughed with tears as his son and daughter retold some of his antics from all those years ago.

I also learned that when he was not entertaining us at the pool, he was a writer. Funny how as a kid, you don’t really know what the jobs of the adults around you are, unless that adult is your teacher. So I learned on Saturday that this funny man from my childhood helped launched Southern Living magazine. And he was part of a travel writing writers group. His son stood at the church pulpit and recalled that his dad was home every night for dinner. Then after dinner, he went to his study and worked some more from home and told us that this was the sound he heard  each night as he fell asleep. His son played the sound of a travel writer in the ’70s and 80s on his iPhone for us to hear.  A perfect sound to play at the funeral for this funny man who spent his life as a writer.

Weekend Edition Saturday – my thoughts

It’s Saturday, April 22, 2017 and I’m up and dressed in a skirt and heading out to do errands and then attend a funeral. On the radio, NPR is on as usual and Mary Louise Kelly is saying in a segment called:

Peanut Butter Bars To Soothe The Soul

April 22, 20177:19 AM ET

The day President Trump tweeted that President Obama had wiretapped Trump Tower, I worked my sources on the story — and then I went home and cooked Swedish meatballs in brandy sauce.

The day the U.S. rained cruise missiles down on Syria, I filed for our Newscast unit and then made a pot of pumpkin soup, laced with cumin and parsley.

The other night, after long hours trying to persuade CIA officials to talk on the record about Russia, it occurred to me that my greater contribution to humanity that evening might have been the crust on a glorious chicken pot pie.

Lately it’s the recipes of my childhood I’ve been craving; my mom’s cooking. I grew up in Georgia, in the ’70s and ’80s, and her repertoire ran the whole range from green bean casserole to tuna casserole to sweet potato casserole. Pretty much all the recipes begin with, “Melt two sticks of butter.” Then Crisco shortening usually makes an appearance.

In her kitchen in Atlanta, I recently found a recipe handwritten in her looping cursive. The first ingredient: “Cool Whip, one large tub.”

I think of Fran at this point.What images and foods is she recalling as she awakes today to attend her mother’s funeral? After that one year of teaching at Janney ES, these three women invited me to join their writing club. All summer, we met weekly at a Starbucks. After initial hellos and catching up, we sat and wrote. After 20-30 minutes, we put pens down or stopped typing on the computer and took time sharing. Each bravely read aloud their writing. Then the 3 listeners offered feedback. Then we picked our next date to meet and departed. A few times, Fran wrote about her mom. I only met her through these stories shared in writing club. When she emailed me of her mother’s passing this week, I replied “I am treasuring the summer mornings when I got to hear stories you shared aloud inspired by your mom. I feel like I have met her and am sad too.”

I take time this Saturday morning looking through Fran’s blog writing found HERE. I love her blog title – Pencil on My Back Porch! Her very first story is called Flower Arrangements  I realize it is about visiting her mom in her retirement home. She ends it saying , “I wonder what I will do when I am that flower lady. ” Today I guess she will know. As Mary Louis Kelly finds comfort in cooking, I think Fran will find it through writing and through walks in nature. I listened more to NPR:

Mom’s best recipe, though — the one she is justifiably famous for at school bake sales — is peanut butter bars. Carol Kelly’s peanut butter bars call for enough sugar to sink a ship, but they turn out like heaven, every single time.

Now, I mention all this because my parents are in town to visit this week. So Mom and I donned aprons. Got out the self-rising flour and the sugar and the Jif — did I mention you cannot use organic peanut butter? It turns out gummy. You gotta go old school Jif or Skippy — and Mom and I baked two big batches.

I brought one of them into the newsroom, to feed the Weekend Edition team.
I could say it was like watching vultures descend, but that doesn’t quite do justice. Vultures don’t return with spoons to scoop up the crumbs. So chalk one up for peanut butter bars, as respite from the demands of this current deluge of breaking news.

On the other hand, all this cooking has created a new demand on my time: I need to hit the gym.

Our Writing Club is coming over on Monday to my house. I am definitely going to serve some comfort food  for us to share on Monday. It can be our “respite from the demands of this current deluge of breaking news”.

Friends, food, and writing will get us through.

A few more beautiful posts Fran wrote about her mom:
My Mother’s 97th Spring
Mom’s Place
Favorite Photo

Kathleen Tolan

These pictures hang in my classroom directly across the room from my teacher chair.img_7697

As I teach my mini-lessons, I can look beyond the heads of my students and see MY teachers reminding me how best to teach. And of course, Kathleen Tolan honors my wall.

She was my large group section teacher during my first Reading Institute in 2011.

Because of her, I work on my reading life. Because of her, I am not just a plot reader but a reader who can talk more deeply about the story with my book club. Because of her, I can plan a strong interactive read-aloud and guide a strong discussion.

I just clicked on TCRWP home page to read Lucy’s tribute and I learned that Kathleen was 53 years old. I am 53 years old. Kathleen will continue to hang on my classroom wall. But, now I have a much stronger urge to be the best reading teacher I can, for as long as I can. I’ll show my thanks to Kathleen daily through my continued effort to be the best I can for my students.

Raking – the mom’s perspective

I wrote a raking story a few weeks ago from my childhood HERE. Today I am trying to tell this same story but from the mom’s point of view. Here goes….

As I turn the corner, I saw the sign. Other neighbors would be happy to see the announcement that a week from today the leaf collector trucks would come.  Others would but not me.

“Look,” breaks my memory. It’s Sally pointing to the sign. “Can I help rake?” she asks eagerly.

“No silly. Those men come and rake our leafs, right mom?” Cathi corrects her in that voice only an older sister has. It sounds more like she is really saying, “Don’t you know anything? What a stupid question to ask.”

“But mom, I could help. Please…” Sally pressed.

“Maybe,” I replied as I pull the car into the driveway. “Right now let’s get the groceries into the house and I’ll start dinner.”

As I brown the ground beef to make chili, I think maybe it is time to do this task again. Then I allow myself to return to that November day. Have seven years really passed? I can see one- month old Sally, asleep in her bassinet and Jeannie looking out the window at the backyard, smiling and feeling better today.

“Rake?” she asks. Her blond curls frame her little three-year old face, making her look even more angelic today.

I recall the doctor saying to take our cues from Jeannie. If she feels up to doing, then do.

I glance at my new bundle fast asleep. Having just started a nap, I know I’ll be free for at least an hour. “Cathi, Jeanne,” I announce. “Let’s go rake!”

Once outside, I hand each a smaller rake and I grab mine. I work to create a big pile for jumping. Then I rake away a long path to the pile, making it look like an airport runway.

“OK, who wants to jump in this pile I’ve made?” I announce. Cathi and Jeannie drop their rakes and rush over.

“Me first,” Cathi says.

“On your mark, get set, go!” I shout and Cathi runs down the cleared path and jumps into a pile twice her height. Soon I can’t even see her for the leaves gobbled her up. But Jeannie and I can hear her giggles. I go help lift her out.

“My turn, my turn,” Jeannie shouts excitedly.

“OK, on your mark, get set, go!” Her legs move slowly down the path and wanting to be so much like her sister, she hops into the pile and laughs, too. We repeat this over and over and over, running and laughing and enjoying a fall day outside.

That was the last day we played together outside. Days later, the leukemia in her body got stronger and she got weaker. Then in May, she left us.

That following Fall I hired men to rake the leaves, bag them and remove them from our yard. And each fall since.

Now, remembering Jeannie’s doctor’s advice, I think “Maybe, today I still should take my cues from my daughters. If they are up for doing this task, then we do it.”



Celebrate – Words from a Former Student

“Here Mrs. Donnelly,” and theme paper was placed into my hand. All around me were my current students, moving to grab their backpacks during a not-too silent dismissal. This voice was a surprise – a student from last year, now almost at eye-level with me as she has grown taller. She also looked more mature than the current friends under my charge.

“What’s this?” I asked.

“Just something I wrote and want you to have,” and she turned and walked off. I quickly placed the paper in my back pocket and returned my attention to dismissing my students, giving them a high-five goodbye.

Then an hour later as I sat in my car to drive home, I remembered the paper. I pulled it out of my pocket and read this:

Dear Mrs. Donnelly,
Thank you for all that you’ve taught me.
You taught me how to divide and multiply without messing up.
You taught me to push myself and never give up!
You taught me how to read a way to make me soar through the words on the page.
You taught me to be the writer I am today.
When I was in Yellowstone immersed in beauty,
in New Jersey riding a roller coaster,
North Carolina resting at the beach,
I brought my writing mind with me and wrote…
I will never forget what you gave me, Thank you.

I celebrate that I remembered this week why I teach because of this former student’s words to me. #WhyITeach

September 11th Memories

As I drove in my car on Saturday, September 10, 2016 I heard Scott Simon, the NPR Weekend Edition host, interview a women who was flying 15 years ago and a day. She took off from Frankfurt, Germany and expected to land in Atlanta, Georgia. But instead, Scott reports:

Shirley Brooks-Jones is one of an estimated 8,000 air passengers who would find themselves essentially stranded in Gander [Newfoundland], a town of 10,000, for the next three days.

I was amazed by the rest of this story.
Click HERE to read or listen to his report.

Due to the attacks on the morning of September 11, 2001 in New York, the FAA ordered airplanes to land as a precaution. Listening to Scott and Shirley talk, I understood for the first time what this actually meant to those passengers on board other flights that day. Scott ends the interview with this exchange:

SIMON: So much of the worst of humanity was seen on that day.


SIMON: What do you think you’ve seen?

BROOKS-JONES: I witnessed the best of humanity, I kid you not. Those people – they didn’t have to do it, but they cared for us. You know, it was just – I experienced the best. I really truly did. And I’ve always felt that most people are good. They just simply reinforced that with me, that no matter how little or how much you have, there’s goodness in people and the Newfoundlanders have it. They have got it like you would not believe.

That line – “I’ve always felt that most people are good” lingers with me as I wipe my eyes. The goodness of others is what I still look for, then and 15 years later.

Of course, I naturally began to recall my own 9/11 memories…
…I was teaching 4th grade and all day long, students were called to the office to leave early. So many of our students had parents that worked in important government jobs. Of course, they worried and just wanted to control having their family safely together.

…feeling the same way, I called my mom to ask her to come over to our house to be there when Anne, also in 4th grade but at our neighborhood school, got home from school and Bridgit, a 7th grader got home from Middle School. By 4pm, I would be home, too. I recall suggesting to not watch TV as I wasn’t sure what was being reported and it all sounded scary.

…Teachers were asked to remain inside all day, no outside recess. Our school’s close proximity to the CIA worried the administration and they thought it best to just stay inside. When I announced Indoor Recess, I remember thinking how no student questioned why, despite the perfect weather outside. They enjoyed exploring and playing with my class collection of board games.

…The sky. That blue, clear sky. So blue. So still. So quiet. I remember thinking how it was almost a sign from above that all is OK. One act can’t destroy this beautiful world as symbolized by the perfect, blue sky.

…School was canceled the following day. The DC-Metropolitan area needed a day to figure out just what happened. As I drove home from work, I listened to the news for the first time all day. The announcer was listing all the things that were closed. “All airports are close. All airspaces above the United States and Canada are closed.  The St. Lawrence Seaway was closed. The Erie Canal was closed.” Hearing this list gave me chills. Our country was on lock down. No one was leaving and no one was getting in. a very eerie feeling.

As the hours passed and I learned the towers came down, I felt so sad. Sad for the people who lost their lives. But also sad for losing these two towers.Being married to an architect, I have an added appreciation for the built environment. I’d visited New York with my family just a few years before and went to the top of the World Trade Center.  I felt sad that these building were gone, all gone.



On September 10, 2016 I spent the evening watching 15 Septembers, a documentary on The History Chanel with my daughter, Anne. Being only 9 back then, she now had lots of wonderings. She also is leaving in 7 days to fly on a big jet to work in France until May. She will be in Marseille, in the south of France, not too far from where there was a terrorist attack this summer in Nice. I do worry for her safety. I do worry that she is far away from home.

But then, as I awoke on September 11, 2016, I see she has posted to her blog and I read it. Being reminded of what happened 15 years ago moves her to action. Her blog tells her readers the step-by-step instructs involved to vote while abroad. She optimistically states:

It’s reminded me that every single person’s contribution to their country matters.
Small actions have the potential to create waves.

I plan to teach 3rd graders on September 12, 2016 and read aloud Seven and a Half Tons of Steel to my class. It is a book I learned about from a blog post by TwoWritingTeachers. Maybe my pausing to share this story about how a piece of steel from that occurrence 15 years ago can instill a little of Anne’s optimism in my students.

I am grateful for the kindness shown in Gander, Newfoundland.
I am grateful for the bravery of our 1st responders and the resilience of New Yorkers.
I am grateful for the architects that rebuilt New York City.
I am grateful that my now 24 year old is boldly living her life.
I am grateful I get to teach 8 year olds that “most people are good” and that even their “small actions have the potential to create waves”.
I am grateful I had the weekend to process this event that happened 15 years ago, maybe fully for the first time.


New York Financial Center at dusk


Follow-up: Reading aloud Seven and a Half Tons by Janet Nolan was the perfect read-aloud for my 3rd graders. It allowed for an age-appropriate discussion of this important time in US History. So glad she wrote it and that Stacey at TwoWritingTeachers blogged about it. I am grateful I am part of a writing community. 


Time Capsule Letter

I just finished my first year at Discovery ES, a brand new ES in Arlington County, VA. To learn more about this amazingly designed, energy-efficient and sustainable building, go HERE and HERE.

As we ended the year, students, staff and parents were asked to write a letter to themselves to place in a TIME CAPSULE that will be opened in 20 years – June 2036. (My Principal even sent out an Outlook Calendar reminder for June, 2036 – who knew Outlook even allowed accepting dates so far into the future?!!)

As a last day of school activity, my students wrote a letter to themselves, with this first line: Dear _____,  If you are reading this, it is 20136….

As I collected them, I noticed that many wrote down questions: Am I married? Did I go to college? Have the Caps won a Stanley Cup yet?!!

I wrote my letter the week before at the beginning of a Planning Day with fellow colleagues to plan out writing instruction for the next year. Here’s my letter:

June 16, 2016 (6-16-16)

Dear Sally,

Today I sit in the Blue Sky Studio. I am 7 days away from ending my inaugural year as a 3rd grade teacher at Discovery ES. I am given today to work on a plan to implement a writing curriculum called Units of Study for Teaching Writing written by the BEST educator in the world (in my opinion), Lucy Calkins and her staff at Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. I sit today with a pretty great group of co-workers at Discovery – Principal Erin Russo, Assistant Principal Judy Concha, Reading Specialist Jen Dodd and Instructional Lead Kathy Olmstead. It is our hope to pour our collective knowledge and passion for strong writing instruction into this day, which then can wash over our school, providing Discovery Explorers time to write daily the stories that only THEY can tell!

Erin begins by saying, “Can I add to our agenda? I want us to write for 20 minutes a reflection to be added to the time capsule to be opened in 20 years.” My eyes well up. 20 years. I’ll be 72. 72, going on 73. Many questions enter my mind: Will I be here, still living at 5218 N 12th Street (the house I started living in just 6 months ago) or in a nursing home? Am I still teaching? Am I still alive? Looking ahead 20 years when I’ve already lived more than twice that makes me pause…. makes my eyes well up a bit.

However, I hope I am here. And that, after opening this letter, I happily walk the halls of Discovery ES, now a 20-year old school and see the 2036 kids still sharing their stories and still using the latest tools to create, design, and produce. I look forward to seeing all the enthusiastic faces exploring their world  to solve the current issues of the ’30s and their excitement for what they can accomplish in the 2040s.

In 2016, I can confidently say that I am proud of all my 3rd graders accomplished this year. My 3rd graders wrote and wrote and wrote this school year, 2015-2016. We used a composition notebook and we used kidblog, a kid-friendly blogging site with easy access because every 3rd grader in our school (and 2nd, 4th and 5th graders) was given their own iPad to keep and use all year long. We also did research and shared our knowledge by standing in front of the Green Screen in the broadcast center. We made Google Slide shows about our visit to the National Gallery of Art. We used Google Docs to write an adapted fairytale. We made iMovie trailers. My favorite one was Jackson and Will’s Epic Failure with a Ball! I wonder what tools will be used by the students in 2036? I wonder what Jackson and Will (and all the Room 212 friends) are doing in 2036?! I believe all will be doing GREAT things because as 8 year olds, they were doing great things!!! I hope many come back to Discovery in 2036 so we can reconnect!

I am very proud that I  had a part in the opening this new school this year. I am proud that this school is built with sustainability in mind. It is very much like the house my husband, Brian designed and had built for us and that we moved into on December 23, 2015. I wonder if both spaces are working well in 2036? My hope is YES.

And my real hope is to have 20 more years beyond this letter, taking me to 92 years, to tell the stories that only I can tell!! Now back to curriculum planning for the 2016-17 Discovery Explorers! While it is fun (and a little scary, too!) to think long-term, it is the day-by-day short-term plans that get us there!



About my writing process: I made an effort to NAME things. Since my audience is the 20-years-from-now-me, I revised to name the people and the tools and the spaces in our building assuming that my memory may not be as sharp 20 years from now! And I’m so curious to compare the tools listed here with those used by the class of 2036.

What will YOU be doing in 2036??!!!

Celebrate – an email from a parent!

Today I celebrate an email I received.

The parent wrote: While strolling with my son and our dog the other night, my son said (out of the blue): “Reading is really hard for me and I don’t like to do it, but you know what, mom?  Mrs. Donnelly makes it fun – she makes everything fun, and I think I now like to read.  Can you believe it?  I can hardly believe it.”  Thank you for touching our lives so profoundly, Sally.  

This email made my day!!!

I celebrate my desire to engage first and then teach. The exchange between son and mom clearly reminds me that I can know all the content and be an expert. However, without making it fun, it will never get through. I also believe one more thing is needed – trust. I’ve worked hard this year to build a trusting community with my students so all feel safe to have fun and learn.

As the year comes to an end (in just 15 more school days), I celebrate this feedback from a parent. I, too, feel profoundly touched by this student and all the students that I got to spend the year having fun with as we ALL learned!

2016 Funeral

I got an email yesterday that read:

I will email you the short prayer service video for D held at the funeral home. You will be very moved and very proud of your former students, T, C, and E. T and C are speakers and E reads the petitions.

And many thoughts went through my mind.
Thoughts of sadness for this family. I met them as their children’s teacher and then we stayed friends. I recalled how proud D’s wife was when T got accepted into college. “Must have been that great 4th grade teacher he had,” I joked with her.
Thoughts about how technology changes our world so much. And now, I guess, even the exiting of our world. Because we can record so easily, I guess it is an option now. Who knew?
I immediately thought back to 1988, October. Did I speak? No. Instead, I was busy trying to find a black maternity dress because I was days past my due date for my first child to be born. D and my dad exited this world in the same way – sudden heart attack. He at age 72 and mine at age 55. Neither meeting any grandchildren.

If I had a video of my dad’s funeral service, would I rewatch it? I’m not sure I would. Instead, I liked that the email I got also said:

The family played highlights from C’s wedding, including D’s moving toast to C and walking her down the aisle.
With my dad and the technology available prior to 1988, I can only cherish photos and I do. I am also glad that I used Judith Viorst poem, What Dads Do to write my own poem last year about my dad. (I wrote about the writing of this poem HERE.) It goes like this:

What Dads Do by Sally Donnelly, inspired by Judith Viorst
(Click HERE to read Judith Viorst’s poem)

Throws parties
Makes people laugh
Creates good times for all
Signs his signature in the fanciest way
Draws amazing illustrations for your school book report
Buys you just the present that you need
Visits you when you are away at college
Treats you and your friends to strawberry daiquiris.

Dads work hard,
play hard
and laugh big.
I wish I still had one.