Saturday, June 20, 2009
Confessions of A Daddy's Girl
When I was five years old I was awoken from sleep by my Father.
"Shhh he said, I have a surprise for you". We snuck down the stairs, past my sleeping brother's room and got into the car. It was dark and well outside of the norm. I knew it didn't matter where we were going, the main thing was it was past my bedtime and I was with my dad, it could only be exciting. Fireworks. He brought me to see fireworks, just him and I. In the memory bank of defining moments when one quickly rewinds life this is a memory that jumps out as it represents so much; I really love my father and I really feel like I was special to him.
When I was six he brought me to see my first movie. It was the Land Before Time and the theatre was full. We found one seat in the front and I sat on his lap. I saw a friend from school behind us and was proud someone saw me out to the movies with my dad. I fell asleep with a half eaten kit kat bar in my hand (sworn to secrecy not to tell Mommy about) and woke up with no recollection of the movie but my dad's white shirt covered in chocolate stains from my drooling mouth. It was a new shirt, I remember that. I thought fleetingly that he would be angry. I stared at his shirt and he smiled. "It's just a shirt Jenny-honey".
How many times my dad would make things okay with that phrase.
"It's just money" he's say when there was none.
"It's just a car" he said after I totalled his.
"It's just a phase" I'd hear him telling my mother when I was misbehaving.
He always knew his priorities. It was always us.
When I was 9 my Dad asked me if I wanted to come with him to work one night. I was honored to be invited to this place reserved for adults. I wore my church clothes and had my mom do my hair. He laughed when he saw me and although it embarrassed me at the time, in hind site I think he felt proud that I regarded this as such a special occasion, church shoe worthy even.
The times in my life when it was just my dad and me are some of my favorite memories. I loved being his little girl. But I wasn't his only girl.
I was always aware of the other woman in my dad's life. He loved her very much and I watched this relationship with interest. My Mother and Father were in love my whole life. I cannot remember a time when I questioned their devotion to each other. I saw how he treated her, always first, always special, always lovingly. When I got out of line and said something I shouldn't to her my Dad only intervened to gently remind me I was not to speak to his wife in that way. If annoyed at the time I was relieved at his defence. I learned how couples in love treated each other, doted on one another and supported each other.
When asked in my preschool years what I planned to do when I grew up I proudly answered "marry my daddy".
My mother explained that I couldn't marry Daddy because she married him, but I could marry someone just like him. She explained that there were only ten men in the whole world that were a ten out of ten. She got one of them and she knew of only a couple more so now there were only seven left. I would have to be very picky to find my ten.
Somehow I remembered this, and through my early adolescence and into my later teenage years I looked for this man. While friends were dating any boy who looked at them twice I was searching for something better.I was looking for someone who could fill my fathar's shoes, a ten. I didn't have to settle because I knew until I found the one I could marry I had a Father who loved me more then any high school boy could and offered me the support and advice I needed, I had the confidence to wait.
I was in my early twenties when I finally met a worthy man, coincidentally of the same name. He was everything I loved about my father and more. When I brought him home for the big test, I waited anxiously to hear my father's opinion. "Jenny- honey, I have one thing to say to you. You will marry him or I will!"
I did marry a great man, (now there are only 6...) but I didn't replace my father. A girl always needs her dad. I love my goof ball, stubborn, sarcastic, show off, generous, loving, supportive, old joke telling, hard working father in a way I could never love anyone else!
I love you Dad!!!
Happy Father's day!