It’s almost Dan’s first official Father’s Day and the celebration has got me thinking about my own Dad. Although I didn’t always appreciate him as much as I should have, his unconditional love and support has been there from my very first day.
The earliest memories I have with my dad are of reading books all snuggled in the nook of his arm, exploring the worlds of my picture books. Those colorful illustrations gave way to American Girls, Sweet Valley Kids, Box Car Children, Indiana Jones and every historical fiction book for children ever written. Through the investment of his time, he opened up my imagination and creativity which is so much a part of who I am.
As I got older, I certainly offered my dad my share of “challenges.” Boys, teenage hormonal drama, overspending, and unstable college majors all took their turn at changing Dad’s hair from dark brown to silver. I’m sure I left him scratching his head wondering “what did I say that got her so upset?” on more than one occasion. Looking back, despite it all, I know that more than anything, my dad wanted the best for me. His reminder to “wear a coat” was only because he wanted me to be warm, and not really an intention to control my life (regardless what the rebel inside said at the time).
My dad has worked so hard all of his life in order to give me everything I could ever need or want, including my mom’s ability to stay home and care for us. I know he thinks that because she spent so much time with us during the day when we were little, that she had the most influence on who my brother and I have become. And while my mother is a huge part of who I am, I think my dad underestimates what he has given me.
My dad believes in me. He always always has. He believed that I could be the best little mouse ballerina in the nutcracker when I was four. He believed I could be the best singer in my high school choir. He believes that I can have an awesome blog and religiously votes for me on Top Baby Blogs every day. Whose Dad does that? Mine – my awesomely supportive and proud Dad.
Because my dad has so much confidence in me - because he truly believes that I can - I start to believe that it’s true, and that I can get through whatever challenges me. I’ve learned to trust his words as truth and that gift of confidence is one of the best things a parent can give their children.
And most importantly, my Dad believes that I can do this Mom thing and will be able to give my babies all the love and care that they need. Every step of the way he’s there. He was waiting with a hug the morning before I went in for delivery, the day the babies were born. He was there during my pregnancy when I was scared we were having issues. He was there when I desperately needed him the other night when Julie was in the hospital, holding my hand and telling me it would all be okay..
As I sat there watching him hold my little girl, I could see his love for her spill out all over. That love is the same love that he’s had for me my whole life, and I am so very lucky to be the recipient.
Happy Fathers Day Daddy…