Last Monday was my Daddy’s birthday. I wouldn’t want there to be some favoritism in posting about my Mom’s birthday and not my Dad’s, because there is no favoritism there. I don’t have a good picture on my computer of me and my Daddy, but that’s okay. In so many ways I’m not sure that a photo does us justice. I think music would do us better. And if I had to pick a musical selection, I’d have to scratch my head and pick three or four because so many compositions come to mind.
First, let me tell you that my relationship with my father is unlike any other relationship I’ll ever have with any other man. He is the only man on this earth that will love me unconditionally. He is also the only man who has dedicated a large part of his life to making sure that I’m happy, healthy and well taken care of. And people wonder why little girls adore their fathers..
As a 33 year-old woman, it’s no stretch of the imagination that I learned the most of how a man should love and treat a woman by watching my father. It must have been disappointing for him to watch me fail as a woman and a wife after he set the template for me. Today, I still look to his example of what to look for in an “other”–be it significant or not. True to form of Daddy and a man, they just don’t make ’em like they used to. It’s rare to see a man who is actually married to his best friend, but I’ve witnessed my parents talk for hours and then go out together. When I graduated from high school, one of the best memories I have of that sunset and that evening is one of my parents walking across Moss Field hand in hand, “one down, one to go.” Later that night I would shoot baskets with him at the Senior party. When he got inducted into Illinois Coaches Hall of Fame, he reverently thanked my mother for letting him pursue his dream.
There are a lot of aspects about me that come from my mother but I feel as though the “essence” of me comes from my Dad because he made me “me”. He made me the light-brown eyed, procrastinating, sharp-tongued, right-handed, basketball-watching, ice cream-eating, bratabulous woman that I am today. If I ever wanted or needed a hug or a kiss, I was definitely more inclined to get one from Daddy. I’m sure that he spent more time than Momma did wondering about my whereabouts. He never let me borrow his car with a full tank of gas and he’s always been up for a fight (fair or not), which I appreciate. He is the master strategist, the consummate consigliere. If you’ve ever looked at me and wondered just what I was thinking at that moment in time, that quiet storm quality of my nature definitely comes from my Dad.
If my mother is my right-brain, my father is my analytical left brain, dissecting information and people into smaller parts. Every night at our house, we would have ice cream for dessert. Daddy loves Strawberry; Stacey does not. So, if he had Momma buy Neapolitan, he would yell at me for only scooping out the Chocolate and the Vanilla. Sorry Daddy….NOT! He was also annoyed whenever I would add toppings (read: crush Oreo cookies in the ice cream with a metal spoon!! LOL), wondering how I ruin such good ice cream. Ha-ha Daddy!! I loved taking him to Thomas Sweet’s in Georgetown where they make their own flavors of ice cream. That was one way to quiet him 😉 He came out to DC/VA once to help me drive back to St. Louis and it was a great trip. My father is a wonderfully intellectual, sarcastic, shrewd, rude dude. But he’s also caring, compassionate and a sucker for a good cookie. Oh how I adore him. There were many nights that I stayed up watching Basketball with him–me with my pom-pons and him yelling at me to get from in front of the television.
I grew up listening to Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind and Fire and Michael Jackson and countless others. My sister and I learned early on that music soothed savage beasts (such as ourselves), and I don’t recall many times when there wasn’t music in the background. My dad also encouraged my love of Jazz. He also made sure that I knew how to catch (cause face it–girls that can’t catch are WHACK!) and just contributed to my overtly badass-ness that makes me “me”. Many things in life are replaceable, but my Daddy definitely is not. I love you, Daddy.