Like any cliché, growing up, I was always Daddy’s Little Girl. I’d wait for him to return home from work and rush him as soon as he stepped inside the door. He’d swoop me up and sing “Put Your Head on My Shoulder” to me. I always knew I would have fun when I was with my father, we’d drink milkshakes and dance and he could fix anything in the world.
When I traded face paint for make up and Barbie’s for boys things changed slightly. Fathers, I think, I generally in bewilderment by adolescent and teenage girls. They most likely had no idea how to figure them out when they were that age and even less so now. I suddenly started finding my father embarrassing, like, why did he have to TALK to EVERYONE? I was certain he had no idea about anything, especially not in regards to being cool. When I left my teens and entered my early twenties the “being embarrassed by my parents” went away but there was still this awkwardness, like, what do we TALK ABOUT?
As I have gotten older and had some trying experiences, I’ve gorwn into my relationship with my father….now viewing him as, a real person, who could understand me. I call him and talk to him about life and what I want out of it, my dreams and how to achieve them, my fears and how to overcome them. When I was going through an epic heartbreak, I’d call at 2am (my time) crying and muttering a bunch of nonsense and he listened to me and offered relevant and logical advice, he understood in a way that I never thought he would.
My father is the kind of man who is so moral, and straightforward. Who is good and kind, and who holds himself in such a way that being around him just makes you want to be better. He has the kind of intelligence that enables him to recall the tiniest details, or argue effortlessly about any given thing. He knows the answer to every question on any game show (watching Jeopardy with him is both awe inspiring but also aggravating), he is a master in the kitchen, being able to conjure the most delicious meal at any given time and loves to cook for people. This love and his natural ability for the art form is evident in every thing he prepares. But aside from these things he is a model of what a man should be. He has always, selflessly makes those he loves his number one priority, often sacrificing his own happiness or desires on behalf of others. He is generous, forgiving, tolerant, resourceful, driven and most of all, kind.
He made sure that we know how much we are loved. That we have someone in our corner no matter what. I can’t even put into words how comforting and empowering having that kind of knowledge and security is. My father (both) of my parents have made it clear to me, that as long as I behave with integrity and to the best of my ability that they will be proud of me. They are not trying to push me into living their life or their goals but rather find my own and live for myself. I don’t feel pressure to make millions of dollars or get married and have children, I am not worried by not doing those things that I will disappoint them. Both of them have always stressed that the greatest thing I can give them is leading a happy life (and to always be kind, of course)
I know every girl says that about her father and mine is no different. We’ve always heard the phrase “women marry men like their fathers” and, when I was younger I’d say, “ewwwwwwwwwwww” but now I realize that finding someone a quarter of the man he is would make me blessed.
(I am not sure sure I say thank you enough, or let you know how fortunate I know I am to have a father like you. You are a constant source of strength and inspiration. You make me feel like I am invincible. I love you.)