Today celebrates great men in our lives - our fathers. My dad is awesome. I'm truly lucky to be blessed with amazing parents. I think for most little girls, our daddies are our heroes, and mine most certainly is. He's patient, kind, funny, and genuine. He fought the monsters, brushed off scraped knees, bought us ponies, and wore the proudest smile possible whenever we accomplished something. He's truly a great man, and I'm so blessed to call him 'Dad.'
One of my earliest memories with my dad was playing baseball. He was the batter no matter who the pitcher was. When I was at bat, he'd try throw me a soft lob that I could still never hit. When I gave up, he'd toss the ball in the air and hit it as far as he could. When I was really little, we had a huge yard separated into three sections, and he could hit it from one end of the yard to the other. So anyway, he'd hit it and then I'd race around my bases as fast as I could while he ran for the ball. When he was at bat, he'd again hit it far and then he had to crawl around the bases while I went for the ball. He always let me win.
He also taught me to play poker. We had a bag of pennies and then a bag of macaroni that we played with. He taught me 5 card draw and 7 card stud. He played with me for what seemed like hours while I learned the hierarchy from a pair to a straight flush. We played WAR and Go Fish, too.
When I was about 9 or 10, my mom went on a trip for a work conference. While she was gone, my dad painted the living room yellow and let us eat whatever we wanted. We had Yellow Food Day, where we ate corn, macaroni and cheese, and hot dogs with yellow mustard. He also surprised my mom with the purchase of a pair of horses, Splinter and Jake. Dad grew up in Blackwood, New Jersey and had horses when he was young. He wanted that for us, too. He'd take us every day to our family friend's stable to feed the horses. He let us help brush and feed them. I don't remember how much we rode, but it was fun, as well as intimidating. Still, it was pretty cool to have horses.
When I was 11, I started synchronized swimming. Megan started the year after. For years, Dad attended every meet. He cheered and clapped, encouraged and congratulated. He and my mom came to every meet when we swam in high school, too, if I remember correctly. No matter what we tried, Megan and I were very fortunate to have incredibly supportive parents. If we wanted to try tennis, he bought rackets. He bought golf clubs, basketballs, and swim goggles.
My dad has moved my furniture at least 10 times, between moves in and out of dorms and apartments. Each time, he moves my bed, couch, and that awful heavy and awkward old TV stand up and down stairs. Each time, he does it gladly, and thanks ME for the opportunity to spend time with me.
I'm truly lucky that I have the parents I do. Spending this weekend with them reminded me of that. We went kayaking/canoeing, played Wii Golf, went to a movie and out for dinner. It was great to spend time with them. I think we'll all look back on this weekend with fond and funny memories for a long time.
Dad, I love you so much. Thank you for always being the greatest daddy a girl could ask for. I feel so blessed to have such a selfless, loving, and patient man as a father. Thanks for always having faith in me, and encouraging me to be the best woman I can be.