Tuesday, June 15, 2010

To My Daddy

Growing up, I was never what I'd consider a "Daddy's Girl."

The Early Days

Don't get me wrong, my father and I mostly got along, aside from the usual "I'm a teenager and I know better than you" stuffs. He didn't appreciate many of my clothing decisions, nor some of my dating choices, but I don't remember us having any arguments that were outside of the norm. We just didn't seem to find a way connect. He didn't want to shop or paint his nails or discuss makeup with me, and I didn't want to golf or hunt with him. Actually I did want to hunt with him. Until he made it clear that the bus left before 5am. And that to board said bus you had to don long underwear (which for some reason I have always HATED! He'd have had better luck trying to get me to wear pantyhose).

When I was in high school, we went on a college trip together. I think that was the first time I felt like we really had a common ground to stand on. Not that it was all smooth sailing - I can remember refusing to get out of the car at one of the 10,000 colleges in Pennsylvania because he wouldn't let me eat before our tour and I was so damn hungry I just started screaming about how ugly the college was and how I'd never go there. But we had some good laughs too. We saw a college that was built up on a hill and the tour guide made a point about how you could tell the difference between the Freshman and the Seniors by the size of their calves. Seeing my horrified response to this layout, he reminded me that I hardly needed larger calves (which is only funny because I owe those giant monsters to his gene pool). And there was the hotel clerk who asked if it was one bed or two - I think if I hadn't laughed my father might have decked the guy who then mumbled something about truckers. And of course there was his penchant for immediately gravitating to the football fields and athletic facilities at every visit. I think Bucknell was his favorite - they had their name in flowers outside the stadium and everything. All I could focus on was the girl in the sailor dress emerging from one of the 25 immaculate houses on sorority row. (Note: I apologize to Bucknell peeps that I let one person ruin my opinion of you. But a sailor dress? Really? And alllll those sorority houses....twitch, twitch). In the end, I walked onto Kenyon's campus and said, this is it. I'm sure it didn't hurt that it was a beautiful fall day and that the campus was empty aside from our very normal looking tour guide. But I figured that I could find friends anywhere and that it would be hard to have a bad time somewhere that pretty. I was quickly reminded that while tuition was covered, airfare home from Ohio was not. This, combined with the fact that I was told I would probably be rejected, sealed the deal. I'm difficult like that.

Drop-off Day at Kenyon

Doesn't he look to happy? I like to think it was pride ;) And besides, I had my mom behind the camera crying about how this was where you dropped off your kids to have them tattooed and pierced. I guess she was half right. So off to college I went. And I think a little space does every parent-child relationship some good. Aside from some home-time spats about curfew (but Dad, I'm in COLLEGE, I shouldn't have a curfew!), things were pretty normal...

Ahh, Solomans Vacation

And then I met Brooks, and moved out to CA. And somewhere in there I became an adult. And I thought about how I had spent many years thinking I was so much like my mother. I think the fact that I was constantly being told how much I looked like her was partially to blame. Instead I realized that my personality is much more like my fathers. We're the one's with the plans, the one's with the schedules, the one's who are asking what's for lunch with the last bite of breakfast still in our mouths...

Getting rid of me again, see how happy he is?

And Dad, you're the one I want Brooks to call when he asks me why I'm so bossy. Having this epiphany makes me love you better. And by better, I mean that it helps me to back off when we butt heads and to remind myself when I'm frustrated with you, it's probably our similarities that are causing the problem. And then I look at Fin and hope he has the same realization about me someday.

I once heard that the best thing a father can do for his children is to show them how much he loves their mother. And that makes sense since there are enough statistics and studies showing how much influence the father-daughter relationship has on womens' future relationships. Well thank you Dad. I don't think I've ever met a man who loves his wife more, or shows it more, than you do. Thank you for showing me what a loving marriage looks like, for giving me an always stable home. Thank you for giving me something to aspire to. And I guess I should say thank you too for loving me enough to care who I dated, that I not go out looking like a hooker, that I not keep the hours of a hooker, and that I get an education. You know, so I didn't have to be a hooker (heh). Thank you for being a wonderful father, a terrific grandfather and now a good friend.

Wish you lived closer, Margaritas would be on me. Instead you get the longest Father's day card ever (but it's probably better than that lame computer one that Mom and I gave you every year for like 10 years right? She would just erase my name and have me rewrite it every year. You know, because your handwriting is much better at like 15 then it is at 5!). I love you Daddy!


Liz said...

that is the sweetest thing ever...what a great tribute to your dad....

Julanne said...

So sweet! Your dad (and mom) is going to love this; ) happy father's day to Brooks too!