Sunday, June 17, 2007

Daddy's Girl

It would be impossible to explain how much I love my dad. I have always been a bit of a Daddy's girl, and we have always had a special relationship. When I was a little girl, we had this litany that we would go through together.

Daddy: "Are you my sweetheart?"

Xandra: "Yes."

Daddy: "Are you my baby?"

Xandra: "Yes."

Daddy: "Are you my pretty blued-eyed princess?"

Xandra: "Yes!"

Daddy: "Are you my little maggot?"
Xandra: "Yes!"

It's clear that from an early age I got my sick sense of humor from him. As I grew older, my humor became more witty (thank goodness) and refined and I have to say that I owe that part of my personality to Daddy. Everything that happens to us is not fun and games, but having a sense of humor about everything is the surest way to get through it intact.

Not only did I inherit my dry wit from Daddy, but I also inherited an ultra-sensitive internal meter that red lines when people around me are insincere or just so full of it that they believe their own press. This is a double edged sword for me, because on the positive side, it prevents me from being taken for a fool (most of the time). But, and this is a big but, I also inherited a very coarse filter between my brain and my mouth from Daddy and as a result, not much gets caught in it. When my meter goes off, the holes in the filter somehow enlarge on their own and I tend to say things that are better left in my brain.

The advantage to this is that most people generally know where they stand with me. The disadvantage is that people generally know where they stand with me. I know...seems strange, doesn't it? If I have an issue with you, you are going to feel it one way or another. This is something that I am working on daily, because I need to be able to accept others as they are and not try to bend them to my will and expectations. But, my friends and family know that I don't lie if you ask my opinion about something. You don't have to like it, but I'm going to say what I think. Myself? I respect others who tell it to me straight and don't sugar coat everything as though I can't handle the truth.

I think the reason my relationship with Daddy is more complicated than the one I have with Mama is because I see so much of him in me. The good, the bad and the ugly. He has given me a sense of humor, the attitude that I can do anything, the ability to see through other people and a strength that I think only fathers can give to their daughters. A strength that comes from being a role model as to how a man should behave and treat women. I expect to be treated with respect and dignity because that is the way my dad treated me. Many of the qualities that made me choose Trevor as my husband are the very ones that I saw in my dad growing up.

When a father gives his daughter an emotional visa to strike out on her own, he is always with her. Such a daughter has her encouraging, understanding daddy in her head, cheering her on—not simply as a woman but as a whole, unique human being with unlimited possibilities. --Victoria Secunda

There are so many things that remind me of Daddy. When I hear a Muddy Water's song on the radio, the sound of a cane rocker creaking, the smell of wood burning in a fireplace.....these all remind me of him. He gave me an appreciation for music of all kinds, reading for the pure joy of the written word and instilled in me the desire to learn and educate myself.

I think Daddy is one the smartest people that I know. There are very few questions that he can't answer, and one of the things that I have always loved about him is that he never made me feel stupid for asking. Even if he was thinking, "Is she serious? Does she really not know this?" he never made me feel small for my question.

So, today I thank Daddy for everything he has done for me. Thank you for carrying that silly rock I gave you in your pocket for years. Thank you for sacrificing your dreams to support me so that I could live comfortably and be educated. Thank you for being the kind of father that my friends envied and I could always be proud of. Thank you for remembering where you came from and for rededicating your life to the service of Christ. Thank you for always being proud of me and supporting me even when you may not have agreed with me. I love you more that words could ever say. Happy Father's Day.

Daddy's hands were soft and kind when I was crying,
Daddy's hands, were hard as steel when I'd done wrong.
Daddy's hands weren't always gentle
But I've come to understand,
There was always love in Daddy's hands.

Holly Dunn "Daddy's Hands"

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