My dad is the best, y'all. He's always "Daddy" and never "Dad." I have always loved him so much (and bangs evidently) and he loves me just as much. Sure we fight. We both have stubborn, fiery Irish tempers. He hurts my feelings, I hurt his too. But I know that he is always in my corner, rooting me on.
"Good parents give their children wings and roots."
Growing up, my father was adamant about the fact that my sisters and I would have all the same opportunities that a boy would have. Lots of men didn't, and some still don't, give their daughters the choice to go hunting and fishing and do all the outdoors stuff. Some of my earliest memories involve watching deer being cleaned late at night in the cold outside our cozy home. I don't shy away from the gross stuff the way most girls do. That's definitely thanks to my daddy. I'm pretty certain I would be the most girly-girl ever if my best friend growing up hadn't been Mike Giles, avid outdoorsman.
As it is, I can wear pink and purple and girly dresses but I can also catch a nice fish or two. I didn't turn out to be into hunting but not because my dad discouraged it because I was a girl. Both of my sisters have killed deer and one hunts fairly regularly.
I developed a strange habit from this friendship with my father, 35 years my senior. I got into politics at a really young age because I liked watching the news and talking about it with my dad. When I say really young, I mean it. I can remember caring about the elections when I was six years old.
Then, as I've gotten older our relationship has deepened and matured along with us.
I still remember the day I got my heart broken. I was crushed, devastated, feeling hopeless and alone on that Thursday in May as an 18-year-old. My dad came home with a devotion book by Max Lucado he had bought just for me with the sweetest inscription before he even knew anything was wrong. Of course, then the flood gates broke loose. One can be strong willed until one's father wraps his arms in the most comforting hug ever. It broke down all defenses I had. Then he just sat on the couch and watched Ground Hog Day with me while I alternated between crying and laughing all while resting my head on his chest.
Then, when I was dating the wrong guy again and he chose to eat with his grandparents and distant relatives over seeing me on Valentines Day, my dad told me he'd be my valentines date and take me out to eat when I got home.
It's nice to know there's always one man I can count on. I am so thankful for a father who passionately (and I do mean literally passionately) loves my mother and is always on my side, rooting for me.