Thankful Thursday – For my dad…

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Thankful

With Father’s Day just around the corner, I’m thankful for my Daddy this week. I’m pretty lucky to have two amazing parents (read my Mother’s Day post).

Seriously, sometimes I think I take our relationship for granted, so I just wanted to take a moment to thank my Dad.

My Dad and I have always had a special relationship – I’m definitely Daddy’s little girl. I always will be. When I’m 50 years old I’ll still be his little girl and I LOVE it. As I’ve grown older I’ve realized that there is a lot more truth to that statement. I truly am my Father’s daughter. Genetically, yes, of course (DUH), but I see pieces of my father in me all the time. Whenever this is pointed out to me, I smile. Why? Because my dad is without a doubt, one of the coolest human beings on this planet and to think that some of that rubbed off on me is an incredible feeling.

I know a lot of people say that their dad is ‘the bestest,’ but I win. Hands down, I have the best father anyone could ever ask for. Sorry if that’s rude, but the truth hurts ;)

My greatest accomplishment in life is that I know I have made my Dad proud.

I love you, Dad. Thanks for being you, because you’ve helped me be ‘me.’

One of our first pictures!

One of our first pictures!

Me and Daddy at my uncle's wedding

Me and Daddy at my uncle's wedding

My wedding day

My wedding day

Father/Daughter Dance - my wedding

Father/Daughter Dance - my wedding

I wanted to share a story that I wrote in undergrad. A memoir about me and my dad and one of our camping trips. Enjoy ;)

I couldn’t sleep. I rolled over and squinted at my bright pink “Girl-Talk” alarm clock. 3:05 a.m. I’d be leaving in two hours. Instinctively, my eyes darted to the doorway to make sure my bag was still there. Yep, sweatshirts, jeans, boots, plenty of magazines for the car, bug-spray, sun block and several other over-precautious items my mom had laid neatly into bags; it was all there…waiting.

2 hours later my alarm went off. I sprang out of bed and ran into my parents’ room. “Daddy, Daddy it’s time to go!” I exclaimed. My Dad mirrored my enthusiasm and quickly picked me up over his head. “You ready for our camping trip, my little Indian princess?” he asked.

My Dad and I had been part of the YMCA’s Indian princess program for a few years. My mom called it our “bonding session”. My Dad was my hero. I adored him and the adventures we took together. We were a team, me and Dad.

“Let’s go already!” I yelled as I ran to the car. I snuggled close to my Dad’s arm and nestled in the spot made just for me, right in-between the elbow. I took a deep breath to inhale his smell…the leather of his jacket mixed with aftershave…my Daddy.

After what seemed like 100 hours, we finally arrived. By then the sun was gleaming brightly on the bright green leaves of summer. Birds were chirping and the air was filled with that crisp smell that you can only get when encompassed in nature. I already felt more alive.

We checked in, and quickly found the other members of our camping group; our tribe. We were the Iroquois. My name was Morning Glory. My Dad thought of it, he said it was perfect…beautiful, just like me. I picked his, Flying Eagle. It sounded strong and protective, just like my Dad.

We made it to our camp and looked around. We were in the campgrounds back corner, right up against the trees. Our tent would sit on the edge of the deep woods, looking over the creek. As I listened to the sound of the water gliding over the glossy rocks and lifted my face to catch the warmth of the sun’s rays, I remember, for the first time, feeling the beauty of Mother Earth. The sun was beaming through the leaves of the trees, casting rays of light throughout the forest. Birds darted about swiftly, singing loudly and colorful blossoms dotted the picturesque forest just in the right places, like my favorite polka-dot dress. I smiled. It was beautiful.

My Dad called me over to help him set up the tent. I was his little helper after all; he couldn’t possibly get very far without me. We immediately realized we forgot our tent poles. In case you are unaware, a tent cannot stand up without poles. We were screwed.

My Dad asked other members of our tribe if the had an extra tent we could borrow. Mr. Irwin quickly came forward. Mr. Irwin grossed me out. He was fat and sloppy, and always had dirty hands. He smelled like musk and always seemed to have something stuck in his mustache. He didn’t talk much, and when he did it was always something odd. One time he went on and on for about 5 minutes talking about mustard. I hated mustard before that encounter and afterward, I found it nauseating. I was not going to stay in one of his dumb smelly tents. It was probably cursed or something, anyways.

I was forced to stay in that tent. My Dad gave me some sappy story about how we should be grateful for Mr. Irwin’s generosity. I said he should be grateful that other humans like us put up with his smell. My Dad told me to “watch my sass” when I said that, I pretended to get mad, but I actually liked it. Being “sassy” sounded very chic.

By the end of the weekend I had forgotten about Mr. Irwin’s smelly tent. I even began to like the man. He was funny, and when you asked him questions, he answered normally…no more mustard business.

To be honest, I don’t remember much about the trip. I know that we went canoeing, swimming, played archery, heard ghost stories and sat by a campfire, but all of the details are muddled together and vague. I do know that I will never forget the look on my Dad’s face as he watched me have fun; his Morning Glory…his little explorer. We were a team; me and Dad.

The campers!

The campers!

What is your favorite memory of your dad?

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