For the best man I know.

I tend to get a little wild.

Not dangerously so, but always on that fine line between “spontaneous and spunky” and “wild card circus freak”.

That’s from my mom...anyone who knows us knows that. We share the same sarcastic, sometimes biting, sense of humor. The same outgoing craziness. The same quick laughter, the same pouty face, the same smile. The same quick temper, although mine quickly slips into silent, seething anger.

My dad is, on the surface, our polar opposite. At first meeting, he is quiet and serious. He wears his heart on his sleeve, and to be honest, I’m fairly certain I’ve seen my father tear up more than my mother. Someday, when he walks me down the aisle, I have a feeling we’ll be holding each other up, tears welling behind our eyes – that’s just our nature.

This...this, we share. Heartfelt compassion, even for strangers. A gentle nature. The ability to go from serious to silly to serious in the span of a few seconds. Quiet disappointment in people and things that let us down. Freakishly long toes (mine more so than his, if we’re being honest).

I have my mother’s mind, and my father’s heart. And I am incredibly blessed in both regards.

My father is the type to email financial articles to my sister and I, with the preface “You probably won’t read this, but....”. He knows us too well. Someday all of the things he’s been telling us since we were in utero will hopefully sink in. That’s a piece of his mind I wish I had gotten – I’m hoping it develops with age.

When I was younger, I remember seeing some of my friends with their big, brawny, car-fixing, treehouse-building, hunt-fish-camp-ing dads, and being jealous that their fathers took them to baseball games weekly, and coached their soccer teams.
My dad was more of a quiet leader – in his intelligent and nurturing way, he taught me more than I ever could have learned with the “manliest” of fathers. From him I learned how to trust, how to show you care even when you’re angry, and what love is.
I remember a time when I was probably about 10 or 12, when my room was ridiculously messy, and I was grounded until I cleaned it. My dad came and helped me, forcing me to get rid of the things I didn’t need, figure out what I really wanted to save, and sort out all the “junk” in my life. I remember being so upset at the time, not wanting his help, hating that he thought he knew better.

Turns out, things don’t change. Now, however, the expert guidance my father gives me is held in the highest regard (well, not those financial articles...sorry Daddy!) and I find myself storing his thoughts and facts away for a later time, so I can revisit and give them all the attention they deserve. He encourages me, fights for me, believes in me, and has, for all my 26 years, pushed me to be the best person I can be.

I hope I’m doing you proud, Daddy.
Happy birthday.


Heinous said...

How wonderful. It makes me hope I can be a dad like that for my son.

beth♥ said...

Lovely! Well written. Me? I am my father's daughter. We are very much alike.

TennLady said...

Awwwwwwwwwww! He's a great guy - the greatest. Aren't you glad I found him and let him chase me till I caught him!

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