Friday, June 18, 2010

Father's Day For Brides Part I: Reflections

My graduation trip to NYC. My Dad's great-grandfather came through Ellis Island.

With Father's Day this weekend, I decided to dedicate this post to remembering your dad/father figure during all of the wedding planning and the day of the big event. Part I will be about me and my relationship with my Dad and what he means to me (hopefully you'll be able to relate). Part II will consist of ideas and ways to let your father that although a new man (your soon-to-be husband) will be coming into your life, he will not be forgotten and how much you appreciate all he has done to help make you into the person you are today.

I wholeheartedly believe that when we are looking for a mate, we look for similarities in them that our fathers have (and yes, things we don't like lol). I know that i could not have chosen such a wonderful person if not for the example that my father set for me. When I look at D, I see so many of the qualities that I admire and respect in my Dad. D is hardworking, passionate, driven and will always put me and our family first- just like my father. They also share a love of aviation- purely coincidence(although I think it's funny that both my Mom and I ended up with pilots). Now, my father isn't one of those that tells me I'm his little princess all the time and I definitely don't have him wrapped around my little finger- he's on to me lol. He calls me out on stuff and while I wished he would've lightened up at the time, I realize in retrospect that he was preparing me to be self-sufficient and responsible and didn't want to me to fall flat on my face when I joined the workforce and got out on my own. One of the things I hated most when I was growing up is when I'd come home and tell him "Billy said in school today that he dug a hole so deep that he could see China on the otherside." He would stop me and say, "Let's go back and think about this logically..." and then he'd make me answer questions that he knew would point me to the conslusion that there was no way Billy could have actually done this. In the end I'd throw up my hands and give a big huff and say, "Can't you just go along with it?". He never did, and still to this day uses this technique on my younger brother. Of course now, it just makes me laugh- because it's always funnier when it's not happening to you,right? What I realize now is that he was teaching me not to believe everything I was told and how to think for myself - probably one of the most invaluable lessons a person can learn.

For those who are probably now starting to think that my father was only there to point out my errors, stay with me for a minute. My Dad has always been dedicated to us. When I started taking tennis lessons in elementary school and played on a team in middle school, he would always take me to the tennis courts and play with me to help me improve. When I was learning to drive, he would take me driving after he had just gotten in from a trip and had less than three hours of sleep in the past 24 hrs. (he's a pilot). My mom eventually had to take over, because having a former flight instructor teaching you how to drive is only an experience that can end badly. But even while I dreaded driving with him (even to this day) I always felt bad because he had been to willing to take the time to teach me- even when a nap sounded much more appealing. Also, despite his crazy schedule, he has made it to all of the recitals, school plays and graduations (5th grade, 8th grade, high school and college). As long as I told him in enough time, he would rearrange his whole schedule to be there for something that was important to me. And on the few occasions that he was not, he made it up to me big time. Like when he wasn't there for the actual day of my 16th birthday he drove 4 hours up to Aspen while on a trip in Denver to take me and my friend to a really nice restaurant while we were there on a church ski trip. My father has shown his love to me through his actions- which is proably one of the best ways in my book to let me know he cares since "actions speak louder than words".

While my Mom may have been the main one I went to about the latest drama that happened at school or when I needed comforting or to compain about something, my Dad always came through for the big stuff. Like break-ups or the time my date a dance thought the dance was on a Sunday instead of a Friday. I had spent that whole day decorating the gym scince I was on SGA and was really proud of it. My Dad gave me a big hug while I cried and then asked me if I really wanted to go with the guy (after I called him, he'd offered to come and go with me). I said no and he told me I didn't have to go with him and to find a different costume to put on so I could get to the dance. This was for Sadie Hawkins which was more like a costume party for us so I grabbed a pink dress with a bubble-hem bottom and emerged from my room as Paris Hilton *Disclaimer: This was before any of the sex-tape scandal business or her being notorious for going to events sans-panties. Back when she was just a plain old socialite (oh and I had blonde hair back then)* I came out to the kitchen and my Dad had made a sandwich for me (it was too late to go meet my friends for dinner) and scolded me for not being able to find a stuffed dog that I could pass off as Tinkerbell. In fact, that ended up being the question of the night- when I'd tell someone who I was, they'd say"where's the dog?". That's another thing- my Dad is always right- I think he and God have some kind of pact....

I have been so blessed to have two wonderful parents, but especially a Dad that loves and cares for me so much. I love you Dad!

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