Monday, June 16, 2008

Dad's Day

Yes, I know that Father's Day was yesterday, but I try not to be on the computer on Sundays, instead saving the day for napping and being sad that the weekend is over. But I wanted to write a little note about dads anyhow.

My own dad is awesome. I'm the only girl in the family, and have four brothers, so naturally my dad and I have a very special relationship. I am the consummate daddy's girl, and I secretly think I'm his favourite, or rather, I'd like to think that. The older I get, the more conscious I am of how much I am really like him. Most people expect me to be more like my mom, and in a lot of ways I am, but as the years go by, I see more of my dad show through in my own personality every day. We both are very people-oriented. In the town where I'm from, EVERYONE knows my dad. He makes an effort to get to know people, and not just their names, but things about them. He has little factoids about the grocery checker, the bank teller, the crossing guard. And they all know him, his family, even know Addison, just from every day conversation. I think we could all stand to try a little hard to be like that, to be genuinely interested in other people.

My dad never does anything halfway. He worked for 30 years at GM to provide for our family while we were growing up. He didn't particularly like it, but he did what he had to do. He ends up with extensive callings at church, and does them without complaining and to the best of his ability. He's an example to me and the rest of my family of commitment.

I think I also get my aversion to confrontation and contention from dad. Anyone who knows me knows that I hate drama, hate awkward situations, I don't even like to correct a waitress when she brings me the wrong drink, and Daddy is the same. And I don't think it has anything to do with worrying about himself, but instead worrying about the other person. He is always putting someone else's feelings above his own. I remember being a teenager and needing a ride somewhere late at night. It was my dad's night off, and I'm sure he wanted to do nothing more than to climb into bed and relax a little, but instead he loaded me into the car and brought me to my friend's house a half hour away. When you're 16, it doesn't seem like a big deal, but as an adult and learning more and more about sacrifices as a parent, you start to figure those things out.

Lastly, I wanted to post the lyrics to the song that Daddy and I danced to at my wedding. When I was born, my dad had bought this as a record, and stashed away for my wedding day. I have it on CD now, and even on my worst days, I can listen to it and know that I'm somehow still my daddy's little girl.

Dear daughter I tiptoed to your room tonight
And I looked down at you smiling in your sleep
You were so lovely my heart nearly broke
And I thought how very much like sleeping beauty a little girl is
When I tuck you in at night I never know how old you'll be when you wake
One evening you crawl on your dad's lap and throw your arms around his neck
The next morning you might be much too grownup for that sort of thing
You're so quickly approachin' my awkward age
Too young to drive a car and yet too old to be carried
Into the house half asleep on daddy's shoulder
I have a secret that I've never told you Sleeping Beauty
You're going on a very exciting trip
You'll travel from yesterday all the way to tomorrow
It's a rapid journey and you'll travel light
Leavin' behind your measles mumps freckles bumps bubblegum and me
I promise not to feel too hurt when you discover
That the world is more important than your daddy's lap
Yesterday you were blue-jeaned and pig-tailed the neighborhood's best tree-climber
Tomorrow you'll be blue-organdie and pony-tailed
And you'll view the world from a loftier perch a pair of high-heel shoes
Yesterday you could mend a doll's broken leg with a hug
Tomorrow you'll be able to break a young man's heart with a kiss
Yesterday you could get lost one aisle away from me in a supermarket
Now I have to worry about losin' you down another aisle to some strange young man
You see just at the point where your growing pains stop mine begin
Yesterday you were kind of a pain in the neck when you were around
Tomorrow you'll be an ache in my heart when you're not
Tomorrow you'll lay aside your jumprope and tie up the telephone lines
And that little boy that used to push you in the mud
Well he'll fight to set out a dance with you
The clock upstairs is countin' the minutes for you
And the sky upstairs is savin' it's brightest stars
And the sun is waitin' with it's shinest day
Oh I can't expect you to live in a dollhouse forever
Sooner or later the butterfly sheds it's cocoon and the smallest bird must try it's wings
But when you grow up and out of my arms when you finally get too big for my shirts
I'll still recall how you used to scatter dust and dolls
And partially through every room in the house but you spread sunshine too
The dust is settled your mom picked up the dolls
But the sunshine will always fill the corners of our hearts
So here I am talkin' in your sleep
Because well if you saw this look on my face you'd laugh
And if I spoke with this lump in my throat I'd cry
Yeah honey when I looked at you tonight you were a Sleeping Beauty
So I tiptoed over and I kissed you you didn't wake up I knew you wouldn't
According to the legend only the handsome young prince can open your eyes
And I'm just the father of a future bride
So you sleep on pretty thing tomorrow you'll awake and you'll be a young lady
And you won't even realize that you've changed courses in the middle of a dream
But you might notice this little change in me
I look a little different somehow a little sadder a little wiser but a whole lot richer
Tonight I kissed a princess and I feel like a king.

I love you Daddy!

Love, Jacqueline


Now, Justin.

I know you're not my dad (thank goodness, that would be weird) but as the father of our beautiful daughter, you deserve a little recognition, if not only because you donated the genes to make her so gorgeous.

I always knew you'd be a good dad, long before we had Addison. But to see it in action and to know that I was right is something amazing. I remember when I'd just had her, and they put her up on my chest and we were so in love with her. I think for a dad to have a little girl and to, in a moment, see through her life and know how much you'll have to protect her is an experience all on it's own.

You're an amazing dad. I know I tease you relentlessly about the numbers of diapers you've changed versus how much I've changed, but I really do appreciate the father that you've become over the last two years. You are the love of Addison's life. She sends you off to work with a kiss, and then is whipped into a psychotic frenzy when she sees your car pull into the driveway at the end of the day .And she doesn't even know that all you do, the work, and the school, and the endless side projects are all for her. She's just excited to see her Daddy.

I think as a mom, its easy for me to worry about the discipline, the potty training, the teaching, and sometimes I forget to just take it easy and play with Addison. You always remind me to, when I see you toss her up in the air, tickle her relentlessly, or let her climb all over you. Thanks for being Addison's jungle gym.

Parenting is a two person job, and I have no idea how I would do it without you. Even when you're gone for a couple of days, I miss having a partner to do this with! I'm glad you're always so ready to take it on with me.

If Addison could type, I know she'd say "kank you" and "I love Dad-dy!"... I love you too!

Love, Jacqueline and Addison



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