as father's day is nearing, i've been thinking a lot about all the fond memories i have of me and my dad. and i've also been thinking about dads in general. i'm sorry i couldn't find more pictures of him and i that weren't at my wedding. the ones i could find were repeat pics i found from old posts.
dads are so important. i hope they realize how important they really are. i'm so blessed to have grown up with literally have the most incredible dad in the world. he taught me so many things. i think i was in middle school, when he told me that my mom could teach me how to be a wife and mother but it was his job to teach me of the world. to discern. to determine if someone is a good person to have around or not. to be careful. to check your tires frequently to monitor air pressure (35 at least! check them more regularly in the winter because they deflate when it's cold!!) he did so much to protect me and most importantly, he taught me to be self reliant.
one of my favorite things to do is jam with my dad. me as a singer and he as a guitar player, it was always just a special bonding time we had between us. i would bring him new songs that i liked, he would learn them in two seconds and we would rock out! i love that we have that. i feel our father-daughter connection so deeply when we jam. my dad is the person who really taught me about music and he always really supported me as a singer. our bond is so strong musically and otherwise. when we play together, its almost i can feel what he is thinking. i know what he is going to do next, i can feel him out to know if he thinks i am singing too fast. i don't think i would have that with any other guitarist.
i was thinking last night about a sweet memory of my dad taking me to my softball games when i was a kid and he would watch me practice and we would play catch together on the front lawn. like something out of a norman rockwell painting, haha! i've wondered if my dad wished that he had a son, and even though i would moan a bit when he asked me to play catch with him or toss a football around, i secretly loved it because i felt like i was helping make up for him having four daughters and no sons. i really don't think my dad wished that he had a son, he still got to do "boy" things with us. he taught us about sports, how to shoot, how to do manual labor like how to run our boat smoothly and how to fix things and build things. he raised four daughters and all he got was a lousy t-shirt, yes, but i love that he got to do "son" stuff with us girls. and i know he is so proud to only have daughters. he has often said he thinks he was made to have only daughters. he loves the arts and theater and music and has a soft, sweet side that made him such a perfect fit for having just daughters. and the plus side is he has four sons-in-laws now!! so now he gets to do all the guy stuff he wants! like grunt and yell at the tv during football, but now he has sons to do it with!
when i was nine, i made this calendar for fathers day or his birthday or Christmas or something. it was a "calendar of compliments." there were compliments such as: "you calm my fears in the night and the day," "you always look on the bight side," "i respect how you uphold your standards," and " you teach me gratitude."
it's been almost 20 years and my dad still keeps that calendar close. he had it laminated and kept it at his desk at his office. he would read it everyday. on my wedding day, he surprised taran with a plaque that listed all the compliments i gave him and entitled it "advice calendar for dads." i love how much he treasures it.
my dad really is my best friend. i always felt like i could talk to him about anything. we like so many of the same things, have a lot of the same opinions, and it is just fun to hang out with him. i've mentioned this before, but he is such a cool and fun dad!! he has been in a rock band since i was 7, he loves going to the lake and bought a boat when i was 14, and bought a plane with 4 other people 5 years ago. he finally took me up in it! it was so cool and he is so impressive! it has always been a dream of his to become a pilot and i really admire how he made it happen and fulfilled his dream.
one of the things i am most thankful for is his lesson to be wary when it comes to men. i am so, so grateful for that. from such an early age, my dad taught me that it is not my job to fix a man. and to never get involved with a guy who needs fixing. and if there are a million reasons why it won't work, then why do it? my dad is a very rational person who saw his mom get married three times because she thought she could fix her husbands. it didn't go well. and i thank my Lord in Heaven my dad taught me to be wary. to be careful. there were so many bad seeds out there, but i never dated any of them. because of my dad. he taught me better. i knew better. i love the picture above because my dad is smiling as i am kissing my a-few-hours-old husband and he is smiling with pride. because i chose well. he approves. i listened to him.
it breaks my heart when i hear that someone has to/has had to go through life without a dad. when i was in college, i worked at this restaurant where there was this high schooler hostess. she didn't have a dad in her life and when father's day came, she told me that her and her friends, including her mom, were going to get together and drink and have an "our fathers left us" party. that makes me sad. when i read sarah's post about her dad's ten year anniversary of his death, it made me cry. i don't know how she does it. i really don't know what i would do without my dad. i think its pretty messed up that we live in a world where dads walk off and abandon their children regularly.
growing up my dad told me he loved me every. single. day. he would always ask "lauren, have i told you today that i love you?" if he already had, he would say it again. i loved that. (who wouldn't?) he said he once dated a girl who said her dad never told her he loved her and he promised he would never do that to his children.
i also want to mention my grandpa. it's been a year since he passed away (i still can't even bring myself to say the D word.) and i have been thinking about him a lot lately. i was a complete wreck when he passed, and honestly, looking at this picture is making it really hard not to burst into tears. i have the best memories with him as well. he and my grandma would come for Christmas and escape the harsh detroit winter and stay until february. in the time they stayed, they would rent a condo and he would pick me up from school and drive me to dance and piano lessons. i am so glad we had those moments together, just the two of us. i miss him so much. he was an incredible man.
happy fathers day (soon!) and a salute to all the good dads out there! you are more important than you realize!