My parents divorced when I was 7. I am extremely fortunate to have parents as cordial and cooperative as mine. They made and still make every attempt to make our broken home as loving and whole as possible. Growing up I stayed one week with my mom and the next week with Dad, making it hard to get into a routine, putting some major miles on the cars, but also allowing me appreciate each parent individually on such a deeper and sweeter level. Weeks I stayed with Dad he really had to step up his game.
Dad, here are a few things I want to thank you for:
1. For making sure I always knew I was your little girl
There is no denying I am a Daddy’s girl,and my dad has made sure to keep it that way. He dated on his own time and made sure that any woman he dated knew his little girl was #1. Looking back, I wish my dad would have made his dating life more of a priority, but I never went a day without feeling like HIS little girl, and for that I’m so thankful.
2. For learning how to make the best ponytails
When I was younger I was a tough critic when it came to my ponytails. They had to be perfect: slicked back with ZERO bumps. Dad may have used half a bottle of gel each morning, but he learned to make ponytails and even add in ribbons on game days. As a bonus, he would even lick his fingers and slick my wild eyebrows down before elementary school.
3. For not being mad when you had a house full of loud, giggly, hungry girls and had to be at work at 6 o’clock the next morning.
Not only was he never mad, but if he knew the girls were coming over he had a pantry full of Fruit Roll-Ups and Poptarts, blankets and pillows ready for pallets, and movies on hand. Yes, he was the cool Dad.
4. For handling my time of the month like a champ
Single dads are exposed to and experience WAY more of their young daughter’s life and time of the month than they ever thought they would. My Dad handled my cranky moods, demands for ice cream, and runs to the store for lady products like a champ. He never questioned me when I said, “Dad, get in the car. We need to go to the store NOW.” He deserves extra points for this one!
5. For running me to ballet, to basketball practices, and never missing a single recital or sporting event.
The man has missed ONE basketball game, ONE, due to work. Other than that he was at every tournament, recital, track meet, and game. During tournaments he would run to the store for PowerAdes for the team, extra ponytail holders and was always so proud of us. No matter my performance, he reminded me that my best is all he asks for and that he will always be my #1 fan.
6. For understanding when I choose my boyfriend over you
I’m so thankful that my dad understands it is not a matter of me not loving him, but of me preparing to be taken care of by another man. He raised me to accept nothing less than the best, always demand respect, but also to be independent. He never complained when I began turning to my boyfriend when I was upset or wanted to see a new movie that came out instead of him.
7. For knowing how to cheer me up and keep me calm
Through every middle-school meltdown, drama in high school, and quarter-life crises in college, my dad has been by my side, calming me down and reassuring me that all will be well. He understood that all it took was a little coffee and a new planner to assure me that I would make it through college in one piece.
8. For loving me unconditionally
My Dad has seen it all from me. I cried to him. I took out my anger on him. I annoyed him with my girly music on repeat. I drank too much in front of him. I cried to him some more. I disappointed him at times. But despite everything he has never gone a day without saying he loves me. He calls me EVERY SINGLE DAY to say “I love you,” and for that I could never thank him enough.
BONUS: He never ever complains when I take 100 selfies of us!
I am fortunate to have love and guidance from both parents, but it was no easy task raising a daughter from elementary through college as a single dad.
Dads, take notes because this guy rocked it.
Forever your little girl