Terry & Paige
This is what a first time dad looks like when he gets to hold his daughter up for the family to “oooh” and “aaah” through the glass, just minutes after she was born. And that look on his face – well, that is what pride and love looks like, with a teeny bit (ie: a bucket load) of fear thrown in at the reality of having to take her home and care for her in just a few days.
I was going to ask Terry to write a post with me for Father’s Day, and then after thinking about it, I decided to rather speak to a few of the ‘dads’ in my life to find out about their most memorable dad moments. However, this was far easier said than done, and I found it next to impossible to pin any of them down to answer just one question – never mind enough questions for a whole Father’s Day post.
Note to future self – don’t bother trying to rope in your male family members or friends if it has anything to do with memories or sharing emotions. It’s like asking them to be honest about the fact that they have no idea where we are and that we actually do in fact need to pull over and ask for directions…men.
And whilst I do realise that this is one of those grossly exaggerated sterotypes that gets thrown around by us women, and that you might be different, please just accept that it is the case with a lot of men and that it applies to most of the guys in my family.
Anyhoo, after failing dismally at my second idea for this post, I was looking at photos of my dad with Paige, and realised that the obvious choice would be to share a few memories of my relationship with my own dad…duh.
So, enter stage right, my dad – here is a little background with a trip down memory lane…
This is me and my dad with 2 of my sisters – when we were little tots. I’m 2nd from the left.
When people find out that our immediate family consists of my mom, dad and 4 daughters, they quickly assume that he was horribly out numbered when we were all growing up. This is NOT true! My dad ruled our house. We pushed the limits on more than one occasion, as most kids do, but that saying that has something to do with “bringing down the hammer” (or something to that affect) definitely applied in our house. Obviously not a real hammer (don’t be ridiculous).
The House Rules: I am sure this one is used by parents all over the world, as it provides them with a general ruling of “For as long as you live under my roof, you will obey and follow my rules”. There is no actual list of rules that can be referred to by the child from time to time and a parent may add a rule to the ‘list’ at any time, without warning or written notice. This covers any misbehaving of any kind that occurs within the family home that is owned by your mom or dad. No exceptions unless prior permission has been granted, and no negotiations will be entered into if the other parent has already said no…the end.
Anyone can relate to the fact that a child can only push their parent(s) so far before there are consequences. My Mom and Dad’s favourite: confiscate or ban an item and/or activity. The most popular being – TV time, TV games, riding your bike down the road after school with the neighbourhood kids, sleepovers, going to movies, having tuckshop money on a Friday etc etc etc. The list is potentially endless depending on the individual child and their likes or dislikes.
The point is, my dad did not take nonsense from anyone, so just cut it out before you get carried away. BUT, with any great dad, there are 2 sides – the tough enforcer who does his best to work as a team with your mom to teach you right from wrong, and the mushy popsicle who secretly turns all smooshy when one of his little girls flashes him a smile. He calls us “Doll”, and “Tooti Fruit” and we actually have stuff in common – crazy right.
I have such great memories of spending time with my dad. Can you believe there was a time when I was a kid, when I would volunteer to wash the cars and clean out the garage because it would mean doing an activity with my dad – and that was fun.
He has always been so supportive of our choices – even the idiotic ones – because he believed that we needed to make our own decisions and learn from the consequences of those decisions, be it good or bad. Those are life lessons. He may have let us get into trouble a few times, but never at the risk of us getting hurt, and he was (and still is) always ready and waiting on the sidelines to jump in and defend at all costs (unless we were being totally unreasonable, then he told us to grow up and think about it).
I’m sure that most of you out there can relate to the idea that a Dad is his sons first superhero and his daughters first shining knight. Well, I am no different. My dad has been there for me through thick and thin and even though I may not have agreed with him all the time when I was growing up, it is so clear to me now that everything he did was to protect me and teach me how to be a good person. To respect myself and others, and have a strong value for money earned. He brought me up to become who I was inside, and didn’t try to push me into being someone he thought I should be. And he genuinely loves me, for who I am.
It is a real gift to know, without a doubt, that my dad loves me, and is proud of me, and it makes me proud of myself knowing that. I have taken the life lessons that he gave me, and I have put them to good use (most of the time). I married an amazing man who loves and honours me and treats me with respect, and I have my own daughter now, who I plan on bringing up in a very similar way to how I (and my sisters) was brought up.
I think that says a lot about the quality of his and my mom’s parenting skills. You guys nailed it and Dad, I love you to the moon and back – Happy Father’s Day.