Once every 365 days something amazing happens. And no, I'm not talking about something stupid like April Fools Day or Sweetest Day or my anniversary. I'm talking about the one day each year that reminds everyone of when God gave his greatest gift to this Earth—my birthday—which happens to be today.
That's right! When that calendar rolled over to May 18th, I was anointed 28 years young. I know this officially places me in an elite group called "The Upper 20s," but I'm proud to be a part of it. It's a club that, at one time or another, has been occupied by many brilliant minds, including Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison and Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy's.
What's special about this birthday is it's the last one I'll be celebrating pre-fatherhood. Not that all future birthdays won't be special, but this birthday signals a graduation of sorts into full-blown adulthood. Therefore, it's time to cut out the funny business and reflect on everything I learned through experience, education and reruns of "Family Ties" to run my household in the best way I know how.
In honor of my 28th birthday, I'd like to present my future child (and you) with the 28 reasons that I'm going to be the greatest dad in the world:
1. I don't believe in making the bed. You're just going to mess it up again before the day is over.
2. Stains don't ruin clothes, they give them character.
3. When I'm in charge of dinner, we'll eat only three things: bacon pizza, pepperoni pizza and bacon-pepperoni pizza.
4. No matter how big you get, there will always be a minimum of one TV bigger than you in my house.
5. For family holidays, your mom is going to try and dress you up in fancy, uncomfortable clothes, but I'll take the heat off of you by wearing athletic shorts, sandals and my "Make 7 Up Yours" t-shirt.
6. I'll be happy to drive you where ever you want as long as it involves on of these three words: baseball, softball or foosball.
7. When I go to the store, I come home with only two things:
8. Mom is the disciplinarian, as I don't believe in grounding or timeouts. My punishments—if you'd call them that—involve you, me, a couch and endless hours of Broadway musicals.
9. When the latest video game you want hits store shelves, chances are I already own it.
10. Reading time will be held every night. The curriculum includes Dr. Suess (which we can read together), some hot chocolate and matching Spider-man (or Spider-woman) pajamas.
11. You will not be allowed to go to school on Opening Day. As far as I'm concerned, it's more important than Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter combined.
12. Singing in the shower is not only common but encouraged, though there are only two types of acceptable songs—TV sitcom theme songs and anything that will annoy your mother.
14. Bobblehead, in my house, is a term of endearment.
15. I don't care if you learn silly subjects like science and math. They are inconsequential in life. I want to teach you more practical studies, which is why I won't settle for anything less than hard work, practice and perfection of The Chicken Dance.
16. On Sundays, pants are optional.
17. I will gladly teach you to play guitar as long as you're content playing nothing but Green Day and that song by Ozzie Osborne that goes "Duh. Duh. Duh Duh Duh. Duhduhduhduhduhduhda.Duh Duh Duh Duh."
18. There will never be a short supply of sweater vests in the house.
20. I have accumulated several thousand hugs over the years and am fully prepared to give them all to you, one at a time.
21. I own the entire John Candy movie collection, including Cool Runnings and Who's Harry Crumb? And I plan to give them to you, too.
22. Wrestling is allowed, though elbows to the groin are banned, no matter how funny your mom may think it is.
23. Always buy toilet paper. I know this isn't really a reason that I'm going to be a great dad, but I still think it's pretty solid advice.
24. In true Klems fashion, I will call and sing happy birthday to you on your birthday every year until the day that I die. I can't promise it will be in tune, but I can promise it will be from the heart. And loud.
25. I teach a free grass-cutting seminar to all children over the age of 10. Pass, and you get a bonus hedge-trimming tutorial.
26. I will keep you far, far away from the evil John Stamos. You'll thank me when you're older.
27. You'll get to go on tour with your dad when his band, Optimus Prime, reunites for a reunion and plays their hit song, "Why Do People Hate Us? 'Cause We're So Good Looking."
28. And finally, the four words that every child dreams of hearing his or her father say: Saturday Night Boggle Tournament.
Oh man, I'm going to make one great dad.