I was a little girl, about seven or eight, and my Dad was driving me to school one day when I very nonchalantly asked him, “Daddy, have you started saving up yet?” Inside, I think he beamed with pride thinking “My sweet little girl wants to make sure she can go to college,” but he calmly asked, “For what honey?” I excitedly responded in about 0.5 seconds, “For my wedding!” That may have been the moment my Dad realized he was in trouble, but it’s one of our favorite memories, and we still laugh about it.
When it comes to fathers, I've been blessed with a good one, and I don’t take it granted. He's taught me so much: how to write a check, get through algebra, speak Spanish, drive a car, drive a forklift, swim, throw a punch (just in case... which has never happened), change a tire (which has happened), the difference between jack-up and semi-submersible rigs, and, most importantly, how a lady should be treated. I think I’ve even managed to teach him a few things along the way too - like how to properly do a ten-year-olds ponytail when Mom is out of town.
One of my favorite Dad lessons is to always “finish strong.” Throughout the years he’s faced some serious ups and downs. With my Mom at his side, he's fought for our family, and never, ever given up. I didn’t appreciate it as much when I was younger, but now that we're raising our own family I can begin to understand the faith and courage he’s had all these years.
When it came time to pick a husband, mine sort of fell into my lap. Mike and I were set up and engaged four months after we met. I’m not so sure how Dad initially felt about it, but it didn’t take long for him to see that my Mike had a lot of those same qualities I love about him - strong, good at math (true but not a deal closer), faithful, smart, kind, genuine, and, of course, chivalrous. Now that we have a whole slew of children ourselves, I get to watch my husband turn into the apple of their eye, just like mine is to me.
So, thanks, Dad. Thanks for the love, thanks for the lessons and thanks for being you. And as much as I am my Mother’s daughter - I’ll always be my Daddy’s little girl.