I can’t let Father’s Day get away from me without writing about my dad, the one who taught me valuable life lessons such as, “If you hit right, you’ll only have to hit once.”
When I was a little girl, I followed him everywhere he went — his blonde-haired, pig-tailed shadow, climbing over car ramps and hopping over mud puddles trying to keep up. I watched him gut fish, fix things, dig holes and fill them up with Quik-Rete that he’d mixed up in a wheelbarrow. He’s a do-it-yourself-er, the kind of man who does things like read a manual on how to rebuild a car engine — and then rebuilds one — because he didn’t want to pay someone else to do it.
At night I would study his beaten-up hands and ask, did they hurt? He always said the same thing: “Nah!” in his Alabama drawl. I believed everything he said, marveling at how he could accidentally stick a screwdriver through his hand and seem unaffected. It took years for me to realize my Daddy was human, and once I did, I loved him even more.
I know Father’s Day is a difficult day for people who are missing their fathers, or never had one worthy of missing. I don’t take mine for granted. He made sure I grew up knowing that I’m a funny, capable, and valuable person. Sure, he said I was pretty too, but through his example and his parenting I grew up knowing that looks are not what makes a person important.
He always said he was proud to be my Daddy. Well, I’m proud to have a Daddy like him.
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