I felt the same way I learned almost a decade later, one of my heroines Isadora Duncan felt about ballet: for the same exact reasons.
Fidgeting, consistently looking up at him...weathered tanned skin, the cheap dress clothes (his best attempt to play the part).
A moment passed I saw daddy wore the expression I adored and have come to mirror perfectly.
The mischievous grin of "Fun is on it's way" we would occasionally share.
Eyes slightly squinted, an eyebrow raised askance half a smile with no teeth.
I loved that look so much.
Then he leaned down to his right, within whispering distance and simply said in raspy whisper (think Tom Waits circa 1999) with one eyebrow up and a half smile,
"Wanna get the hell outta here?"
Bearing all my pearly whites (as he called them).
On to the next adventure.
Budweiser's for daddy and "Virgin Shirley Temples" for the birthday girl.
A masterful story teller.
He had been compared to George Carlin more times then I could possibly count.
He could get a full bar with their women and the bar tender enraptured in his sardonic satire.
The drunken assembly pounding fists on the bar, saluting their depleting glass bottles in the air.
Usually a combination.
Joy and rapture, not what he paid for but what I felt.
That was the real gift after all that, what I felt on my eleventh birthday .