I haven’t called you that in a long time. I grew out of that at some point, just as I outgrew kisses on the lips and you carrying me on your shoulders.
Now you’re just dad (no -dy) or padre whenever I’m feeling Spanish.
Back when you were daddy, I had lots of little girl things that helped paint my image of you. You were big and strong, strong enough to carry me on your shoulders or drape me over one when I was sleeping. It didn’t hurt you when I stood on your feet to dance and you were always willing to dance with me, especially if it was to “Butterfly Kisses.”
You were always ready to be my prince whenever I came to you dressed in those itchy disney princess costumes and plastic dress-up heels, and you dealt with me when I consistently made dropping me off at school an extremely difficult and dramatic event.
As you began to become dad (no -dy) those little girl things started to change into big girl things.
You drove me nuts about college scholarships, essays, and applications, and you made me think about the future.
You told me you’d paint yourself the colors of whatever school I decided to go to, and didn’t mind when those colors changed.
And as I grew up…and grew out of those little girl things, trading them in for big girl things, I gained something. That something, I believe, was knowledge about how a dad loves a daughter and how selfless a father’s (parent’s) love is.
Thank you for teaching me how to love and for showing me (through loving mom) what kind of love I should be looking for myself.
Thank you for not being disappointed in me when I chose to leave Wofford.
Thank you for working so hard without complaint.
Thank you for always being willing to dance with me.
Thank you for lots of things.
So here’s to the guy I call dad…the guy who, if he ever upgrades from a blackberry to an iPhone, I am pretty sure will rule the world.
Happy Birthday Daddy (a few days late), I love you!
(one of) your little girl(s)