On Mother's Day, I talked about my mom. On Father's Day, I went to church, played at a park, took a really long nap, and cooked dinner. And, I didn't talk about my dad. I also didn't talk about the daddy here in our home. What a shame!
So, though this post is late, my thoughts were of both these great men on Sunday.
First, my dad. Why first? Because he came first! Without my daddy, I wouldn't be who I am. For one, I look a lot like him. I also have a lot of his traits.
My dad grew up in a small town in North Carolina. After finishing college, he enlisted in the Air Force. It was during his last year of service that he met my mom while living in Kansas. Once out of the military, my parents moved back to his hometown. That's where I was born and raised for the first ten years of my life.
My parents divorced when I was pretty young and I lived with my mom, but I remember some pretty special moments with my dad, even from a young age. One particular memory I have was a date night we had. While I'm sure I'm missing pieces, I remember getting my hair done, wearing my favorite pale purple spinny dress, and eating at The Country Squire. I also remember falling asleep on the drive back home.
My dad had a motorcycle and I can remember him taking me for a ride out on the country roads. He also loves country music and anytime "Baby's Got Her Blue Jeans On" came across the airwaves, he turned it up and we all sang out loud.
I moved to Arizona when I was 10 and it then became our routine to see each other only at Christmas and for a few weeks in the summer.I didn't mean for this to be part of my post, but since my policy is to be really honest on here, I have to say that at this point I'm having a really hard time writing this. I wish I could tell you a million things that were special about this time of my life and how our relationship was great despite the miles, but I can't. I can't say much about this time in terms of me and my dad. I imagine it was incredibly hard for my dad to be so far away from some of his children. I know my life was different without my daddy nearby. Christmas and summer visits were good, and I have great memories of those times, but there were lots of months between them.
I am tempted at times to be mad about that time in my life, but I don't have a right to be angry. Instead, I get a little sad, but try to see how God has used it to grow me. In the moments where I want to feel sorry for myself, I try thinking of other girls who didn't have a dad miles away missing them that they got to see even twice a year. I am a blessed one.
I remember calling my dad really late at night (really early in the morning his time) the night I won Miss Yuma because I knew how proud he would be. Then he and my step-mom came out to watch me compete in state the following summer. The whole family flew out for my high school graduation and again for my wedding. Then, I got to call my dad with the exciting news that we were moving to Pennsylvania, just 8 hours from them in NC.
Sadly, we now live far away again. But, thanks to free weekend cell minutes and video chatting, we get to keep in touch and even "see" each other.
When my dad makes up his mind on something, he is fiercely loyal and gives it 100%. He worked for family friends for years and worked hard at whatever task he was given. He then went back to teaching after 25 years and now serves as the athletic director at his alma mater. He is a good dancer and he and my stepmom are fun to watch out on the dance floor. He is affectionate and loves kisses and hugs. He especially likes them from his grandkids. I could write a lot more likes/dislikes, but what makes my dad the most special is that he loves me!
Happy Father's Day, Daddy. I love you!
Second, my husband. It's been 6 years since Joel became a daddy and I have to say he's pretty amazing. People often comment on what a hands-on dad he is. He always has been. He insisted on changing Rylee's diapers when she was a baby since he didn't have any part in feeding her. He wore a path in our carpet where he walked endlessly with a cranky baby, soothing her to sleep. He prays for our children, teaches them, lovingly disciplines them, and plays with them. He reads them books, acts as the jungle gym, plays games, paints girls toenails, and pelts them with the dart gun. He holds them when they cry, makes them giggle, feeds them, and even puts ponytails in their hair. He builds lego castles and forts and can play Prince Charming with the best actors. Our kids run to greet him when he gets home at the end of each day and love the days when daddy is off work. My hope and prayer is that my kids will grow up to be like their dad, lovers of laughter, gentle and patient, hard working and loyal, kind and forgiving, and passionate pursuers of their Creator.
Happy Father's Day, Joel. I love you!