Monday, June 21, 2010

Me, Too.

Little girls love their princess dress-up-clothes, they love ponies, kittens, and dancing ballet.  They love their pretend make up, special hair bows, new dresses, and fancy shoes- but most of all- they love their Daddy!

A long, long time ago- (when I was a little girl)- that’s what I loved the MOST.  My daddy(s).  (Plural)

I was a lucky girl!!!  I had TWO Daddies.  Two (great-amazing-awesome) Dad’s!!!!

From the time I was 8 years old, when my mom remarried, I grew up with 2 father figures.

My  Daddy.  And my step-dad, Dave.

Both held  a special place in my heart, just specifically for each of them.  They still do, as a matter of fact.    I grew up a Daddies’ Girl (plural).

Both Dad’s taught me how to drive.  I still remember focal points that each Dad gave.

Daddy always said to “stay off of people’s butts, and take it easy on the brakes”.
Dave always said to “hug the curb, and focus on what the road signs are telling ya.”  

Seriously.  Two Dads teaching a young girl how to drive.  Both were (extremely!!!!) patient.  Both kept their cool when I royally screwed up, and both showed pride in their eyes when I finally scored the big D.L. (drivers license).  This chick has MAD driving skills now-a-days, let me tell ya-what.!!!

And to this day- I love driving.  Always have.  Always will!!!!

Dave taught me how to mow the grass. He may have thought I was a bit off my rocker when I would follow him outside when he hopped on the mower, and beeeeggggg him to let me do it.  One day, he broke (maybe a little tired of my nagging?), and handed me the push mower.  Perhaps he thought I’d give up on pestering him once I had to push the (non-self-propelled) mower around the apple trees in our back yard while he tucked a hand towel in the back of his shorts  and drove  on the riding-mower.  I didn’t back down. I pushed and pulled and shoved that red Craftsman in and out of that tree line.  I didn't mind a bit.  I enjoyed the hard work, but I also think that somehow, I knew that he just wanted me to prove to him that I was serious about wanting to mow the lawn, and not just wanting to play around.

I pushed the mower all around the trees, and bushes, where the riding mower couldn’t go, and excitedly waited on him to finish up.  I was CERTAIN he’d say, “Good job, girlie!” when he came to the back yard to fetch the push mower and put it back in the garage. And he did. “Alright!!! Good job, girlie!”

 The next time around- I got to sit on the “big-rig”.  The riding mower.   He showed me how to “follow the lines” he had made, he showed me where the reverse was, and how to turn the mower off when I was finished.  He warned me that if I “got off the mower, it’d turn off” and even took the time to explain WHY it shut off if I lifted my butt off the seat.  He told me to “keep it slow” and then he went in the house.   He trusted me to do “his job”.  And sure enough- when I was finished, he said “Alright! Good job, girlie. Thanks.”    It wasn't just his words. He was sincerely proud of me; and what girl doesn't get a fill-up in her "love tank" when her Daddy's eyes glimmer and his dimples deepen with an amused grin showing the pride he has for his daughter?

To this day- I still enjoy mowing the lawn.  There is a satisfaction that comes with having a well-manicured yard.  Dave took the time to instruct me.  He showed me how do accomplish a task that seemed interesting to me.  He didn’t write me off.  He didn’t assume that “because I was a girl” I couldn’t (or shouldn’t) mow the grass.   He listened to what I wanted, and did what he could to meet my needs.

Daddy taught me how to play Badminton, Yahtzee, Spades, Rummy, and Horse Shoes.  He taught me how to swim, and how to hunt for crystals in the creek below his house. We went to his house every-single-weekend,  and each weekend he did something special with us.  In playing Yahtzee, ( were really young) he taught us how to add numbers.  There were times he got frustrated, “NO!!!!  6 + 6 is NOT 11.  That’s 6 + 5 remember??!!!”  I didn’t realize it then- but he was educating us inside our fun-filled game.

I love Math, still. It was a subject in school that didn’t seem to overwhelm me as much.

Daddy would take us to the lake when we were really little, too.  He would make us stand outside the water while he waded all along the “beach” area looking for “drop-offs” so that he could give us the “boundary” we had to swim in.

Being the ever-deviant-child that I was, I tended to often wander outside that boundary.  It was twice that I almost drowned, and twice that my Daddy saved me.  After the second time- he insisted we learn how to swim.  Knowing how much we loved to hang on to him while he swam around in the “deep end”, Daddy would bribe us.  “OK baby, if you can dog-paddle to me- I’ll let you hang on to my back.”  He was a sneaky, sneaky Daddy- because we would paddle, and paddle, and paddle, and before we knew it- we were way out in the deep end before we could lunge onto Daddy’s neck.  All the time- he was slowly backing up- forcing us to swim harder, and stronger, and making certain that we could hold our head up above the water.

I love to swim.  I love the water.

Each Dad had this permanent mark on my life- each creating a specific characteristic in me.

My Daddy insisted I take care of the car I drive- checking the oil, and transmission fluid, and driving it carefully, and taking caution with all of the functions of the car. (Don’t blast the air conditioner, it’ll ruin the fan- keep the bass turned down low so you don’t blow out the speakers, easy on the transmission- wait until you’re completely stopped before you put in in reverse/drive/park.)

Dave recounted the importance of saving energy- (Close the fridge- think about whatcha want before you open it up.  Turn the lights off if you’re not in the room.  It shouldn’t take you 45 minutes to get a shower.  Wash your hair first- then hurry it up, and get out.  Put a full load of laundry in that washing machine before you turn it on (girlie!).)

Daddy showed me how to shop wisely, simply and cheaply.
Dave taught me how to make Mess-In-A-Pan, and how to love Italian Food.

Both took the time to answer questions that I had about any-given-random subject that I brought up.  It was rare for either of them to say “I don’t know.”  

It was my Daddy that walked me down the aisle when I got married, but my wedding wouldn’t have been complete with out Dave there, taking pictures, and video, and smiling his big-white-Italian grin when I stumbled a lil’ bit walking up those stairs to the podium.

And tonight, on Father’s Day, when my heart is so broken because I didn’t get to see either of my Daddy’s- it was both of them that were in the center of my crocodile sized tears.

I miss them both so much.  Each live within an hours drive of my house.  Daddy is a homebody- and works harder than he should, sweating more than I'd like for him too in the welding shop that he works at. So? It's rare that he takes the time to wander outside his comfort zone of his couch and his TV to make the trip over here.  Dave works strange, long hours- much harder than he should as well- closer to Atlanta;  much further away.  If he has a day off of work, it's rare- and on his day off, it's best for him to rest.  

I had planned on Daddy  coming over this afternoon, to celebrate Father’s Day.  I even mustered up the courage to light the (scary) grill so I could cook a good meal for both him and my husband.  I made potato salad, and grilled chicken and fish, looking forward to Dad bringing the traditional Birthday Cake and Ice Cream in celebration of my 7 year olds belated birthday.  He called 30 minutes before time to stop by and said he couldn’t come over; his car over heated on the way to my house.  It wasn‘t his fault.  It was an un-preventable situation.  My crocodile tears flowed, none-the-less.  I miss my Daddy.  The voice mail he left said that he missed me, too.

I texted Dave this morning to tell him Happy Father’s Day, explaining that I would call him when the chaos died down at our house.  In the middle of the chaos- with in the fact that there wouldn’t be  any chaos- I forgot to call.  He messaged me at bedtime in response to my original message,  and said “I love you, too Little Girl.”  Crocodile tears formed as I messaged him an apology, and told him “I really  miss talking to you.”  His response simply read,  “Me, too.” and it sent the crocodile tears flowing. I miss my Dad !!!  He missed me, too.

Being a Daddy’s girl is a forever thing.   It doesn’t disappear once you become an adult.  There has always been, and may always be, a longing in me to see and spend time with my Daddy(s) (plural).

At (almost) 30 years old- my Dad’s are still soooo important to me.

I will be forever and ever, thankful for both of them, but mostly thankful that my Abba Father thought so much of me that He'd set it up so that I would reap the benefits of having two Daddy(s).

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful post, Amber. I hope Caylen, and your girls, can look back at her daddy the way you have yours!