I spent some time with my dad this past weekend. We normally have lunch dates and things planned, or the kids and I will go over to his and my step mom’s house for a Sunday dinner. I am extremely grateful to have a set of parents who live close to me.
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a daddy’s girl. I am and have been a daddy’s girl since day one. I have two younger brothers, and we are two and four years apart. We all have our special bond with our parents, but the daddy/daughter one is more special then the rest in my eyes. Maybe it’s because I’m the only girl or maybe because I’m the first born, or maybe it’s all of those combinations rolled into one.
Growing up I was very fortunate to be able to play a sport year round. I played travel soccer and played all over the United States. My dad and I would go to soccer tournaments in different states almost every other weekend from when I was 8 years old until I turned 17. Traveling on the road and having that special time alone with my dad are some of my favorite memories. We would talk about sports, music, school, my annoying brothers, my annoying mother (let’s be honest, teenage daughters and their mothers don’t exactly get along that well), and anything else I was going through at that time. Sometimes we would go out to dinner with the team and sometimes we would just go somewhere by ourselves.
One of the first life lessons I can remember learning from my dad was when the whole team went to an Italian restaurant in North Carolina. We all walked in and sat down at this huge round table. The menu was extremely pricey, and I really didn’t see anything on the menu I liked. Clearly how I felt was written all over my face, and my dads. He asked me if I wanted to leave and go somewhere else (it had nothing to do with money, but by my reaction to being in the restaurant), I was nervous because I didn’t want to be embarrassed and leave but I also didn’t really feel comfortable there. I told him yes and we both stood up and my dad said we were going to go somewhere else, and the other parents just gave us a “look”. My dad found this awesome BBQ place and we had the best ribs that I’ve ever had in my life! Lesson learned: you don’t always have to do something because everyone else is doing it, if you feel uncomfortable in a situation it is always okay to get up and leave. What other people think, doesn’t matter. How YOU feel matters. YOU matter.
I have so many special memories with my dad, our Christmas tradition of going shopping for the past 20+ years, driving to Kentucky to visit my youngest brother and grandmother, random lunch/dinner dates, going to the shooting range, walking around on our family owned farm, my favorite college’s basketball games, or when I had my first boyfriend who broke my heart and the only thing my dad knew what to do or say was “Lets go shopping!”.
My dad has taught me so much. I truly believe my love for music came from him. We would listen to Fleetwood Mac, Eric Clapton, The Eagles, Pink Floyd, The Allman Brothers, James Taylor, and Steely Dan. He would tell me what all the songs were about, and what they meant, or why the artist chose to write that song. Sometimes it was about a life experience, a lost love, or just a song with no lyrics but the title was my first name, because “no words can ever describe [insert first name]”
He taught me to respect my parents, my elders, and most importantly myself. My body was a temple, and I should always treat it that way.
He taught me the meaning of family and love. How no matter where he was in the world he would be there for me. “You just call out my name (DADDDDDYYYYY), and you know wherever I am, I’ll come running, to see you again. Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall, all you got to do it call, and I’ll be there, yes I will, you’ve got a friend.” Yes he would literally sing me those lyrics. He loved my mother. He loved her and showed my brothers how to love and respect your wife. My brothers to this day will always open a door for a woman, no matter where they are at. It’s just something my father instilled in them, and my mother will brag about that til the day she dies.
I could go on and on about all the amazing things my father has done for me growing up. All of the things he did help mold me into the strong woman I am today. By showing me all of these amazing examples and life lessons it helped guide me in the right direction of the kind of man I wanted to marry, the kind of man I deserved. I had high expectations and I am thankful I found a man who met every single one of them.
So thank you, Daddy. I may not always need you as much as I did in the past, but I will always be your little girl, I will always be your princess.