Happy Father’s Day, Dad!Posted: June 16, 2013
I called my Dad yesterday to wish him a Happy (early) Father’s Day. I didn’t send a card…because I forgot to send a Mother’s Day card…and I’m all about fairness. But, my Dad isn’t the typical man who doesn’t appreciate cards. He’s got a drawer full of keepsakes from my brother and me throughout the years.
My Dad is the most amazing man. I got teary-eyed this morning when I thought about how grateful I am to be his daughter. He is simultaneously strong and tender…a wealth of knowledge with a steadfast love for others.
He has always loved spending time with my brother and I. For as long as I can remember, he was teaching me all manner of things. I grew up learning to build things, care for animals, enjoy the outdoors, cherish family and friends…the list goes on.
One of my favorite memories from my childhood is what we called “the trading game”. My mom, dad, brother and I would round up personal possessions and take turns making trades with one another. Dad would always make a big deal of it…showing off his items and oooo’ing and ahhh’ing over the things we deemed trade-worthy.
I’ve sometimes heard Dad make comments about how he regrets working long hours during parts of our childhood…that he feels he wasn’t there as often as he would’ve liked to be. Regardless of how you may have felt during that time, Dad, I want you to know that I never felt like you weren’t there. Not even for a second.
Dad, I have so many pictures of us doing things together…camping, hunting, fishing, exploring…pictures of you at my track meets, basketball games, volleyball matches, softball games, cheering events, ballet recitals, piano recitals, theatre productions, award banquets, choir camp concerts…
You helped instill in me the value of hard work, and you showed me what a good work ethic looks like. Both you and mom taught me the importance of a good education and provided the opportunity and environment to learn all that I could. You were there from the first day of kindergarten to the day I graduated from your Alma Mater. (War Eagle!)
You’ve always allowed me to make my own choices and be my own person, and I do not take that for granted. Through tattoos, piercings and all my crazy hairstyle choices, to the friendships I’ve formed, decisions I’ve made, and all the ups and downs of my life so far…you’ve been accepting, loving and always believing in me.
For all the reasons I’ve already listed, and oh so many more that I may not have adequate words for, you’ve painted a picture of the kind of man I’ve always wanted to marry. I’m so happy to say that I found him, and so thrilled that when you walked me down the aisle (8 years ago!) you already loved him too.
John and I have such a great marriage, and I believe that has a lot to do with how both sets of our parents modeled marriage for us. Thank you for loving my mom with such a boundless, unconditional, and (almost nauseatingly) romantic love. The two of you are such a great picture of partnership, and have been an incredible example to me.
One of the things on my “30 by 30” list was to “learn something from my dad”. I’m going to go ahead and cross that off, because I feel like I’m constantly learning things from you. Here are just a few that I can think of:
You’ve always made it clear that you expected no less from me than my brother, when it comes to physical strength. It’s not like you ever asked me to lift a car or anything crazy….but, you didn’t keep me from chores like mowing grass, stacking firewood, moving lumber, etc. Although you were tender with me, you never treated me like a fragile flower. I think it’s taught me to not sell myself short…to know that I can push myself harder than I think I can. I’m no damsel in distress.
On a similar note, you taught me how to swing a hammer and use a drill. I watched you build our playhouse when I was little, and together we’ve built bookshelves and various other things. Thanks to you I have a love for making things, am capable of fixing things… I appreciate the smell of sawdust and the feeling of satisfaction after a job well done.
Our house was always filled with music, whether it was Mom playing the piano or flute, you on the guitar or dobro, or Jacob and I as we tried our hand at various instruments. Thank you for calling me out if my timing was off when I practiced piano. Thank you for showing me how to play my first chords on the guitar, and for putting up with those few years that I played saxophone.
With your love of bluegrass also came your love of friends. There were many nights spent playing together around a campfire or a coffee table. I love that your old college friends feel more like aunts and uncles to me, and every time I hear a song that all of you play together….it feels like home to me.
Your love and generosity for others is evident to me. I’ve seen you host the beehives of others on your land for months…deliver homegrown vegetables from your garden to relatives, friends and the elderly…accept any friend of mine as a welcomed guest in your house for the weekend…the list goes on.
It seems cliche, because everyone says it about their own dad…but, you are the absolute best father I could have ever asked for.
I hope that I have been the kind of daughter who has made you proud.
I love you, Daddy.