When I look back on my childhood, there is one thing that stands out strongly above all of my memories. That one thing – or person should I say – is my father. I honestly believe that I have the world’s greatest father, and not just because he and I share DNA.
My father was a police officer. I can remember wearing a red sweater and black pants during his retirement party, reading him a poorly written but emotional poem about how much of a hero he was to me as I was growing up (he still is). To this day, the smell of Wrigley’s Gum (In the white wrapper) and Avon’s Black Suede sends me zooming back to the carefree days of my youth.
To me, my father always seemed like the strongest person in the world. When he walked into a room, or gave me a hug, or when I heard him arrive home at 3 in the morning after night shift – I always felt somehow safe and sound and completely at peace with the world. No matter what was going on around me, my father was the calm sanctuary that every little girl needs growing up.
I think one of the most fantastic things about my dad, was that he never made me feel like a ”girl.’ Even today, in this day and age, I see fathers who seem to favor their sons, who spend more time with their sons than they do their daughters.
My dad took me fishing, taught me how to change oil, played basketball with me in the backyard, and never – not once – made me feel the inequities that still exist between males and females in this world. I wasn’t the stereotypical ‘daddy’s little spoiled girl’ nor was I tiptoed around or handled with kid gloves because I was female. I was just me. And he was just my father. And he fathered me the same way he fathered my brother. Now, that I have four girls of my own I am thankful for how much strength, confidence, and independence he instilled in me.
If he was afraid of me growing up, he never showed it. If he worried about my decisions or sanity when I was struggling through the teenage years, he never quivered. If he disagreed with some of my decisions or actions, he never angered. He simply had faith that perhaps I had enough of him inside of me to make the best out of my life and do what was right.
I would be lying if I said my dad was perfect. People aren’t perfect, especially parents. Something that each of us is probably learning day by day. And it was often his imperfections that taught me the most about love, life, and family. He has always done his very best to give me the tools needed to have the best life possible for me.
There has never been a single day in my entire 41 years of life that I have wondered if he loved me, or worried that he wasn’t proud of me. Even when I couldn’t love myself, or be proud of myself – I knew that he was. My dad is the one who taught me how to laugh. Not just at the craziness in the world around me, but at myself as well. Just one of his many gifts.
While now we are separated by miles, I still feel the same admiration, love and respect for my father as I always have. Maybe even more so now that I, too, am a parent. I know that he is just a phone call away. And every day, if I want to feel really close to him or remember what he looks like, all I have to do is look in the mirror. There, in the glass, are HIS eyes looking through mine.
I am pretty darn sure that I have the greatest father on earth. What about you? What makes your dad so awesome?
What do you think? The Worlds Greatest Father. MINE!