I look just like my Mom, spitting image in fact. We sound the same on the phone, have the same eyes, even the same smile when she actually cracks one. No one has ever disputed that I am her daughter.
No one has ever doubted that I am also my father’s daughter, and it has nothing to do with looks. We are both some of the most stubborn individuals you could meet, we pretend to have tough skin, love more than anything to sit and talk with friends and family over coffee, and we have a knack for irritating each other like no one else can.
I am my Father’s daughter.
I’m blessed to have grown up in an intact family, I enjoyed a full life and never had to be concerned about my health, safety or whether I was loved or not. My childhood was blissfully ignorant, compliments of my Father.
Whether or not the words have always been there, I’ve know how much I’m loved by my Dad. I always wondered of those relationships I saw fathers and daughters have, you know the ones- princesses, gifts, daddy-daughter dates, boyfriend interrogations… the whole sweet event that is their life. To be quite honest, I never had that. I think being a tomboy and excessively independent probably didn’t set me up for that to begin with, but granted- Dad wasn’t so great at the spoiled princess idea, and at times that complicated things for me. That can be really confusing for a girl growing up when all we are surrounded by is this fairytale image. We don’t know what to do with the mistake that our father’s must obviously be making.
But as an adult, I’ve matured and I’ve grasped at an understanding of concepts like true love, sacrifice, generosity, and growth… I’ve come to understand a few things about the way my Dad loves me:
1. Making sure my oil is checked and my air pressure is correct before shipping me back home, states away, is how he shows just how much he cares about my well-being.
2. Teasing me about how, one day he’ll simultaneously give me away at my wedding while performing the ceremony, all at a pig roast down the street at the state park, tells me just how much he will love making sure my actual dreams come true that day.
3. Telling me when I’m wrong, when to stop pouting, how to check the coolant in my truck, and exactly how to talk to people who are crazy, proves to me how much he loves investing in my success and wants only the best for me, even if it’s hard or seems like harsh reality.
4. Sitting down and drinking a cup of coffee with me as an adult, while listening to how I made some of the biggest decisions of my life and offering support and advice shows me just how proud he is of me.
5. Hearing him tell his friends about my success helps me know that amidst my ups and downs, my failures and poor decisions… he sees my potential, loves me through my bad days, and will always, always make sure I can trust him.
I never had to be a princess, to know how important I am. And when I have spent the last 6 out of 8 Father’s days states away, at times even countries and time zones away… those are the things I cling to.
Happy Father’s Day Dad, I love you.