It’s Father’s Day weekend, and of course we’re all thinking lovely thoughts about our dads.
But that’s easy for me to do. I am blessed by having both an amazing Father, and Father-in-Law in my life…Two men who I am so thankful for, and so very glad my boys have a chance to know and be influenced by. We are super blessed. And though the boys know and love them now, it will only be in time that they will realize the enormous blessing it is to have such a rich heritage of good, honest, Godly men in their lives.
My dad has a way of making me feel really good about myself. He’s an exuberant, positive man, and he is really good at building others up. In fact, he doesn’t like to hear people put themselves down, or be negative at all. I think that’s a great quality, and probably has explained a lot of my (general) positive disposition in life.
But it’s kind of funny when Dad gets all serious about this sort of stuff. For example, do you remember my “Dirty Truth” post a while back? I had so much fun writing it, and from the response I got from you readers, I think you all enjoyed it as well. I was laughing at so many of your comments, and already thinking about part two when I had a phone conversation with my mom. She asked if I had published something new, and with a concerned voice she said,
“Well, I haven’t seen it yet, but your father did, and he did NOT like it.”
Oh no. My heart raced. Was there a typo, or what could I have published that would have my father disapproving? I couldn’t think of anything at all indecent or scandalous in there–not even any naked kid photos which he has required I remove in the past…
“What? Why?” Maybe someone hacked my blog!?
“He thought what you wrote was self-deprecating. He didn’t think you should talk that way about HIS DAUGTHER.”
Ahhhh. Now I get it. I should have guessed. I’m still Daddy’s perfect little girl.
And my heart warmed.
I assured mom that everything I wrote was A) tame, and B) in good fun. In fact, I told her that it would probably be her favorite post, as the humor is right down her alley! She believed me.
My Dad just has a way of seeing me, a bit better than I am.
He’s always been like that.
As an 8-year old with very large buck teeth (nick-named “Bucky” for a while even!) awkwardly skinny, and just plain-funny-looking, my father would ONLY nick-name me “Beautiful,” and “Princess.” And I’ll tell you, that coming home from school and all of the teasing that went on there–Dad’s voice calling me “Beautiful,” was enough to completely drown out the negativity.
I believed him.
Dad’s theme song for me was that good old 70′s song: ”If you happen to see the most beautiful girl in the world….Tell (insert MONICA) I love her…”
I was convinced that that song was truly about a dad wanting to tell his daughter how beautiful she was. I didn’t even pay attention to the rest of the words, because he always sang that one line over and over to me.
His love for me, his confidence in me, and his boldness in it all–was like a big rock for this little girl and her big teeth and her gangly little body to stand on.
Dad’s positive take on life was not just centered on me…He made all of my friends feel great as soon as they walked in the room. (Still does.) He “dated” my mom regularly, brought her flowers weekly, and has always made her biscuits in special shapes on Sunday mornings.
He valued my mom as a stay-at-home mom, and publicly praised her often. I remember him looking me in the eyes and telling me, “You know, when you grow up, you COULD DO anything in the world you set your mind to. But I want you to know—THERE IS NOTHING more important or harder in the world, than to stay home and raise children. What your mom does is the most important job anyone could have. Much more important than my own.” (As an extremely hard-working, and very successful trial lawyer, I SAW how hard he worked.)
Those words went deep into my heart. When the day came that I chose to stay home with my kids, I never EVER struggled over my identity, or if being a “stay at home mom” would be valuable enough. It was ingrained in me from the start.
Dad wasn’t only good at building others up, he modeled a healthy (even if-comedic) dose of self confidence.
Looking in the mirror, day after day, my brothers and I can remember dad announcing “Well, it happened again today.”
He waited, until finally, one of us would give in and appease him, asking: ”What happened Dad?”
At which time he would proudly answer “I got better looken!”
Yes, that one got old.
But we all loved it anyways.
After his noon-time YMCA basketball games, Dad would always come home and let the family know “Well, I’m still great.”
There were many good laughs around our house. My parents both have a great sense of humor, and I think that got me through adolescence.
Dad was so good at building people up (yes, himself included,) that it was very natural for me to want to model that.
But he also intentionally raised us to be others-focused. Each morning, before leaving for work Dad had a little ritual: He would yell a goodbye to me, or come kiss my cheek, and then it never failed that he would add: “If you get a chance today–Help someone!”
These DAILY words meant something to me. I took them like a command.
And I literally went to school and LOOKED for someone to help.
Therefore, I became friend to the deaf, friend to the mentally challenged. Friend to the nerds and the outcasts…and I was had no reservations about any of it.
I’m so glad.
So cheers to Dad, and thank you for loving me and telling me I was beautiful, buck teeth and all. Thank you for teaching me to be thoughtful and kind. Thank you for making me laugh through every awkward stage. Thank you for loving my mom in such a genuine way. Thank you for seeing through all of the bad, and always finding the good.
And when I do write that follow-up post, or whenever I poke a little fun at myself…(because I will, ) Don’t you worry:
Deep down I am certain that I am a princess, I am beautiful, I am smart, and I can do all things. Because my daddy taught me so.
(Dad and I at his cozy mountain cabin in Washington State.)
Aloha, and HAPPY FATHER’s DAY WEEKEND!! Everyone!
PS If we get it finished, we will be posting some of the boys notes to THEIR DAD tomorrow! Stop in and see.