Sunday, June 19, 2011

Daddy’s Girl

Father's Day

He’s been the one man from the start who’s known my heart inside and out. He’s known my hopes, my dreams, my fears, and my failures.

I’ve always believed that a girl’s father should be the greatest man in her life and I’m lucky and blessed to say my father, my Dad, my Pops is that man for me.

He has taught me more than I can even explain. Things every girl needs to know. Like how to ride my bike. I’m sure he was afraid to let go the first time, but he did it, and after a few tries, I wasn’t so scared any more (but I didn’t want him to stay too far away from me… just in case.) He taught me what every little sound was that I heard on an airplane while flying for the first time. “Dad! What’s that?!” I would ask in a panic. “Those are the landing gears coming down.” He was so patient with me :)

He taught me how to drive a car. When I was little, I would wait to hear the garage start to go up each evening, knowing it was my dad getting home from work and I’d run out and ask him if I could drive the car into the garage. I’d climb up on his lap and “steer the wheel.” I can barely reach the foot pedal now, so there was no way I could reach it then, but I didn’t care. It felt like driving to me! Then, once I had my Learner’s Permit, my dad took me to my high school parking lot and we’d drive around until I got used to it. I was terrified. The first time I turned onto the main road from the lot, I couldn’t handle it. “Dad! I can’t do it! This is too fast! I can’t do it!!!” And I turned immediately back into the parking lot. The speed limit had been 35. “Too fast" – I’m a scaredy cat, alright? Again, he was so patient with me.

He was the one who taught me how to check the air in my tires, how to withdrawal money from the bank, how to perfectly wash my car, the best route to get anywhere I needed to go in the DC area, how to be smart financially, how to prepare, how to conserve, how to be strong.

I am my dad’s one and only daughter. He cares for me in a way no one else ever has and ever will and has shown me the meaning of unconditional love. I know without a doubt that he wants the best for me. He wants me to work hard in life, prosper, grow, and be happy. Much of what he has taught me about life has been through his example. How to treat others, how to do the right thing, how to be a responsible adult, how family always comes first. As simple as those things may sound, there is a lot that goes into teaching someone those things… and he did it.

My dad knows everything, I’m sure of it. And if he doesn’t know something, give him ten minutes, he’ll look it up, and give you the answer.

My dad and I have years and years full of wonderful memories together. Maybe one of the reasons I miss home so much is because I haven’t been able to make new memories with him. Anyway, a favorite memory of my dad’s is when we were vacationing in Virginia Beach. We decided to wake up early one morning, just the two of us, and go over to Cape Henry. {Side note: Cape Henry, also known as “The First Landing,” was the first landfall after a voyage lasting 144 days from England led by Captain Christopher Newport. Captain Newport and his men went on to establish Jamestown – the first permanent English settlement in North America. Maybe this was a foreshadowing of me choosing CNU (Christopher Newport University) as my first college of choice (and now alma mater). GO CAPTAINS!!} We had a great time at Cape Henry sightseeing, reading about our country’s history, and taking pictures!

I cherish the one-on-one time I get with my dad. There are other memories such as when I was taking photography in college (at CNU, of course) and traveled to historic places to get some awesome footage (George Washington’s church, the Lincoln Memorial, the dreaded stairs from The Exorcist, etc.) and my dad tagged along and took pictures of me taking pictures. What a great guy :) Then, of course, there were the road trips we took together – ALL the times my dad drove me down to college, the trip we made to New Jersey to visit my grandma, and even the short trips to the store or the mall to pick up a few last minute Christmas items.

I can’t thank him enough for everything he’s done. For all the little things he probably thought went unnoticed, for all the time and energy he sacrificed. For never missing an important day in my life. He’s the greatest father I could have asked for. He makes me want to be a better person and one of the most important things in my life is to make him proud.

The older I’ve gotten, the stronger I’ve felt the bond grow between my dad and I. Every girl needs her dad when she’s little and when she’s a teenager (although she might not admit it), but I need my dad the most right now. Right now when I’m 2,000 miles away living as an adult. Now is when I need his hugs and his laughs and his offer to run up to the store with me… just to keep me company.

Dad, I wrote this post for you. No card and no gift can ever thank you enough for being such a wonderful and loving father. Thank you for being my shoulder to cry on and to lean on, no matter the time or the day. Thank you for teaching me that “the cream always rises to the top.” Thank you for every precious minute of your time that you’ve taken to make my day better, my trip safer, my life richer. Thank you for loving me unconditionally. I love you, Dad and I’ll always, always be your Ballerina Girl.

Happy Father’s Day!!

Love,

Your Little Girl

4 comments:

Dad said...

What a wonderful Father's Day post. I could fill pages with all of the little things that we shared together, like learning to jump the waves at the beach, and diving through them when they were too big to jump. Boy, were you scared! And we had so much fun learning to conquer those huge waves, even though they were not so big after all.

There are so many precious memories I have of you . . . and I am so very, very proud to be your father.

I love you sweetie- Pops

ashlyn said...

beautifully written chels! :]

Laura said...

awwww. I love how your dad commented on this! I absolutely love that picture of you and him; so gorgeous!!

Megan said...

this post brought tears to my eyes!!! every word you wrote reminded me of how much i miss my dad, who is also in VA.

and one of my favorite memories of my own dad was from down at VA Beach. We decided to wake up at 5am, get on the jetskis, and head down to the Carolina coast :-) We had lunch on the jetskis in the middle of the ocean and it was just amazing!!!!!

your dad seems like an AMAZING guy and such an inspiration to you and everyone he surrounds himself with :-) You are both very lucky to have each other!