Let’s take a stroll down memory lane with our Dads. As you read the different daddy-stories, think about your most cherished memories with your father.
I can see a little girl with an impeccable internal clock sensing when it’s time for her dad to get home from work. Picture this, she’s outside playing softball, volleyball, or jacks but she is positioned—while playing—so that when her dad drives up, she’ll see him. And when he does, she stops whatever she’s doing and runs and leaps into his arms. He carries her to the front door of their home then she hops down and goes back to her play. “Ugh,” he moans as she lands in his arms cutting his breath off. “When are you going to stop jumping on your dad like this?” he asks as the years past and she’s outgrowing the rite. And every year she says “next year.” Of course, that year does don’t come until her legs are nearly as long as his. When that day finally comes instead of jumping into his arms, she interrupts her play, runs and grabs his hand, walks him home and seamlessly resumes her play. This, my friends, is the classic “Daddy’s Girl.”
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Superdad!
Or, what about a two-year-old toddler whose father catches his favorite toy just before it hits the floor, preventing it from spattering all over the place. The boy looks at his dad as if he were Superman who just saved the day. “Whooohhh,” the tyke says with the most authentic awe in his eyes. I imagine he’s thinking, “Wow, my dad is the greatest!” Of course, the child’s dad is amazed by his son’s wonder and has never felt so admired in all his life—he’s the dad who is the apple of his son’s eye. Priceless father-son moment.
She’s a teen with the most debilitating menstrual cramps any young active girl could imagine, or not. She has the kind of cramps accompanied by missing school days, high fevers, excruciating shooting spasms, and vomiting. Her dad is the kind that sits by her bed (after working all day) and rubs her tummy. He’s the kind of father that is the best mother. Not trying to be a mother replacement, just being the kind of man that a young girl with unforgiving cramps needs. And, she’s the kind of little girl that utters the infamous phrase, “my daddy” with the kind of possessiveness that only daddy’s girls understand. He’s her standard for manhood. You know what this means, right?
How about the “My Daddy” little girl who knows that from the tender age of 4-years-old until she’s about 7-years-old that every Saturday she and her daddy are going to the car wash. “Come on Senorita, let’s go?” he says each weekend. He prepares the classic southern breakfast: biscuits, grits, eggs, and bacon before they leave. Her assignment each week is playing in plain-site while he details the Chevy. Once it spic-and-span, the two of them head to one of two places: Wimpey’s for a hamburger or Good-Luck’s for a hot link basket. Can’t you just see the grease on the brown paper bags?
In reading the above accounts of fatherhood greatness, it’s clear that fathers hold a special place in a child’s mind and heart. He is a balance of tenderness, fierce love, and fun. He’s the protective shield around the home that lets a child know that “No harm can come to me because my daddy is here.” And as time pasts, you realize that his contribution to your life has been more demonstrative than verbal because you’ve seen his hard work and dedication to his family. And only on a few occasion has he offered spoken advice like be competitive in sports, read for leisure too, or choose good friends.
His words, though few, you never forget. As an adult, you’re proud to say “my dad always said” this or that. Of course, when he walks you down the aisle at your wedding or gives the speech at the reception these memories flood both your minds, which explain his tears in these moments. You’re looking at him like he’s Superman and he senses your awe, and you’re two, four, seven or sixteen and he’s “your Daddy.” And you are still in awe and he is honored by your wonder, another proud moment for the “Old man.”
Share with us your fond memories of our dad. Then share with him what you’ve shared with us.