I grew up with an incredible dad. He's taught me so much over the course of my life. He has always been firm and loving in a way that is so unique to him. He has always been there for me. He has loved me unconditionally, correcting my errors and providing guidance, but loving me all the way through. I wasn't the easiest kid, so the patience and love he showed wasn't always easy. He has taught me that it is important to be moral and do what's right, in all situations. I have a few very distinct memories of my dad, the first is stopping with him to get gas and always getting some candy to share. The second is snuggling with him. In the middle of the night, if I got up and went into my parent's room, my mom was a zombie and often wasn't receptive to having me crawl into their bed. My dad on the other hand, would just lift up the covers and have my crawl into the middle, where he'd snuggle me tight. I always felt so safe sleeping like that. The next distinct memory is how he'd always "sneak" me food. When he'd come to tuck me in at night, he'd often be munching on saltines or popcorn or something of the sort. He'd often "sneak" me a bite or two, and I always thought I was getting away with something. The next is the way he would hold my hand in the car. Not always, but frequently. In high school and college and beyond, he'd grab my hand in the car. On my way to our wedding, my dad and I rode together, just the two of us, and he held my hand. He's always held my hand in life, so the metaphor was perfect. And before my dad handed me off to the future father of my children, I distinctively remember being alone with my dad. Everyone else was outside, sitting in their chairs, waiting for the ceremony to begin. The precession was going on. We were all that was left. With a few words of advice, in his typical way, my teary-eyed dad stood with me until the doors open, and I made my way to my groom.
It turns out, I married my father (in many ways). They are both loving in similar ways. Neither are overly sappy, and both like to show their love more than express it with words. They both let you know they care, usually by joking with you and messing with you. Their sense of humor is very similar, and I am certain God prepared me for a lifetime with Ronnie, by beginning my life with my dad. I know with my whole heart that Mckenna loves and cherishes her daddy by the way she looks at him now, but I can also predict what they will be like in 25 years from now because they will be just like me and my dad. Mckenna is so blessed to have a daddy like Ronnie. He is so loving, yet so firm. I watch him parent her, with respect and admiration. We are different as parents at times, but I watch him and think, "man, I hope I can be that good in that kind of situation." Ronnie is the man I have always prayed for, and a man Mckenna will always thank God for him in the future. We are so blessed to have him in our lives.
We celebrated, but nothing over the top (just as Ronnie prefers things). Mckenna and I got heart felt gifts. I looked for crafty gift ideas on Pinterest, and most required me to do most of the work...and that doesn't seem to make sense. So I found a gift Mckenna could "make" (shoot, I think a monkey could have made it). We went and collected rocks and put them into a mason jar, and then I made a little tag that said, "My daddy rocks." Got the job done, and was made by Mckenna for her daddy! She was pretty excited about it too. When I told her to pick out the prettiest rocks for a present for daddy, she kept repeating that they were for daddy and excitedly picked them out. Her standard for "prettiest" was pretty low, as she just took handfuls, but hey, it's a strength to see the beauty in everything, right? Ha! As for my gift for Ronnie, it was practical. I usually would spoil him with his favorite candies, but he's on a diet, so I spoiled him with what he had just mentioned he wanted/needed more of...mustard and apples (not to eat together). Yup, nothing says happy father's day like mustard and apples! As you can see, we are not overly extravagant in our celebrations, but we made sure daddy knew he was loved and appreciated, and loved and appreciated he is. I could not think of a more selfless, patient, loving and impressive daddy. If I can be half the parent he is, Mckenna is going to turn out incredibly.
Thank you, God, for blessing me with an incredible dad, and for blessing my child with an incredible dad.