Parenting Skills: This man is awesome. Need more proof? I'll break it down for you.
|Look at the spectacular ant-burners (lenses) and mustache on that man.|
- Morning Bird - I have very fond memories of eating breakfast on Saturday mornings at this place called Mom's in Pineville. Come to find out the reason why it was always Dad and I - never with my mother and sister (this was pre-Syd) - was because we ate breakfast at 6:00 am. As I got older, I changed and was not so much a morning person. He has never changed. You know those Jimmy Dean commercials where there is a sun and everyone else is floating around not awake yet? That is my father. Every.single.morning. Man gets up at 4:30-5:00 am every morning to start the day
we'll leave out that he is also tends to be loud sometimes in an attempt to wake up others so he can have some company. He will drink his coffee and then make us all breakfast. There are very few mornings that I don't remember having a full course breakfast before school. I'm talking pancakes, bacon, grits, eggs, sausage, french toast. He did it all.
- Master of the Steamroll - I swear sometimes I think Dad would count down the minutes to when it was time to wake us up. He would give us a wake up call which would sometimes be singing to us loudly through the speaker system in the house. If we didn't wake up after that... he would come in with the steam roll. Now, if you have no clue what this is, allow me to explain. A steamroll is when he comes running in to your room, jumping on the bed, then rolling over top of you back and forth until you beg for mercy. Trust me, it is not a pleasant experience. Need to get your kid out of bed? This is the best!
- No Pain, No Gain - Most parents worry about their children getting hurt. Whenever we got hurt, Dad would calmly walk over to us and say, "It will feel better when it quits hurting" or another favorite, "Do we need to chop it off?" I seriously could not stand these words. But do you know what I catch myself saying every time one of my kids at work get hurt? Yes, both of those.
- Reach for the Sky - You get the gist of how Dad was never one to hover over us when we were little. Looking back at it, I remember a lot of situations we were put in dealt with heights. My Mother once told us that one day she came home from work to find my Dad working on the roof. No problem, right? Well, he was actually on Daddy Duty for Sarah who was at the age where she could sit up by herself. Mom got out of the car to ask him where Sarah was when she noticed this little blob sitting about 5 feet away from him. ON.THE.ROOF. He had NAILED her diaper down to the roof so she wouldn't fall off! Seriously, I can't make this up. His explanation? Nothing, he didn't know what the big deal was. It wasn't like she was going anywhere. Flashing forward several years, I remember him teaching us all these cool little tricks on the playground. For instance, he taught us how to swing really high - as high as the swing would let you - and once you were at the highest point you would jump out and fly through the air. FLY! This was the coolest thing ever. That is, until Sarah blew it by breaking her arm and then we were never allowed to do it again. Way to blow it, Sister.
- School Projects - The benefits of your Dad being a General Contractor is that you have the best school projects. Whenever we came home with things that we needed to do, Dad would go all out on finding the best and coolest way to make the projects. I remember one time we (I say "we" but sometimes these projects were so advance that it took a while for him to build before the kids could actually help) made a 3D solar system out of wood & Styrofoam that looked so real my teacher asked if she could keep it in her room.
- Gender Confusion - I like to joke around that I just turned into a girl 3.5 years ago. What does this mean? I had no fashion, dressed in sweatpants and t-shirts, no makeup and most of the time did not brush my hair. It was never a priority to me. I was a disgrace and fashion failure to my older, fashionista sister. I was the tom boy, I didn't need any of that. Most of my friends were guys and to them I was "one of the guys." And then I found out why as I was going through old home videos several years ago. It was one Christmas when Sarah and I came in Christmas morning to see that Santa had left our presents in our allotted areas. Sarah had this huge Barbie House & Pool set complete with new Barbies & a bright pink Barbie car convertible along with some other girly presents. My pile was a bike, helmet, roller skates, safety equipment and some other sports gear. Dad was so excited about it that he was showing me all the sports stuff as he sat me down on the bicycle. I looked over at Sarah's toys and said, "Can I go over and play with that?" Dad looked at me and said, "no, honey, that stuff is for girls." WHAT?!
Need more evidence?
- Better Than Birth Control - My father does not meet a stranger. He can talk to anyone! And when I say anyone, I am not exaggerating. My friends and I once waited in the car after a long day of playing softball games while he went in to see if they were still open. Thirty minutes - yes, that's right, 30 MINUTES - later he came out to tell us that they were closed. He is just very friendly. BUT when it came to boys or "friends that were boys" he was relentless. All of our boyfriends or guy friends were scared to death of him. He would completely change when they came around. My sisters first boyfriend came over for Sunday lunch and ended up leaving early without even eating with us Dad was so rude. (Don't worry, JJ straightened him out... a little bit.) When Sarah's first prom date came to pick her up he was met with a front porch full of men in overalls with shotguns perched next to their rocking chairs. Think that's bad? On my first date he thought it was an ideal time to clean his crossbow in front of the poor guy. And they wondered why I didn't bring home anyone for a very.long.time.
Best Gift Giver
- The Bat Cage - Most of you know that I played softball growing up. I am a firm believer that my Dad is the reason I got a scholarship for softball. Trust me, I didn't make it easy on him. As "my" 10th birthday present, he got us a batting cage. This thing was my best friend and worst enemy. All I could see was how many hours that I was going to have to be in that thing. It was a cage. Some of my best memories were in that cage just playing catch with my Dad. I also remember several times my Mother being mortified as she got out of her car saying she could hear us yelling at each other at the road (from our driveway to the road is a pretty good distance away). Whoops! Looking back, there couldn't have been a better present than that at the time (see below for the best gift ever). I would never admit it to him but the day that he took that batting cage down, I cried like a little girl.
- Matilda Jean - One Christmas, I begged and begged for a dog. When I say begged, I mean I talked about wanting a dog 24/7. I brought it up in every conversation possible. So when he told me I wasn't getting a
d@mndog for Christmas I told him that I was going above him and telling Santa so I know I would get one. His response? He forbade me to ask Santa because I was not getting a dog! My response? I told Santa of course. As me and Sydney sat there on Santa's lap at Carolina Place Mall I told Santa - in my most innocent voice - that the only thing I wanted for Christmas was a puppy. I swear, if Dad didn't think he would be reported to social services by the other 45 people in line he would have beat the living crap out of me in front of the entire Santa's Workshop. The entire week before Christmas, I went through every nook and cranny of that house looking to see where they were hiding that dog then went into a depression Christmas Eve because I realized they didn't get me one. That night I was so bummed I had a sleepover in Syd's room to cheer me up. Early Christmas morning something furry kept tickling me and trying to wake me up out of my comasleep. Then I heard the sweetest little voice from Sydney saying, "look Kate, a puppy!" When I opened my eyes, I saw Dad holding the most beautiful dog in the world and my new best friend, Matilda Jean. And I know that even those times where he wanted to murder that dog (chewing 32 holes in the batting cage net) and was constantly reminding her that "a bullet is a nickel" when he got the vet bills, I know that he loved her just as much as I did.
- The Little Things - I can't really top those presents mentioned above. Instead, I can tell you about how many sweet, little things that my Daddy did/does for us. Every Valentine's Day he always made sure to make us dinner and then would get us a little present or flowers for all of his girls. He even started liking Rap music because his little riding buddy, Sydney, wanted to listen to it (how she was able to do that I will never know). Whenever we had a birthday, holiday, or if we were going through a difficult time instead of buying us cards he would always make these little funny cards for us. See below:
- Little Things Contd: It was the pats on the head like dogs as he told us "it will be okay" after we got our first periods because he didn't know what else to do. It's the hugs followed by "I Love You" when our feelings got hurt. It's riding in a car with 10 girls after a 4 game day to get dinner without constantly complaining about how bad our feet -and bodies- smelled. It's coming to our rescue when something needs to be fixed or made. It was working the extra hours during the week so that you didn't have to miss any of my games. I can never remember a vacation where he didn't take time out of his free day to catch for me - now that is dedication!
How to Be a Husband:
- Marriage is Fun - We have been so fortunate in growing up in a house filled with love. Dad always said that we were "killing him" or blaming us girls for losing his hair at an early age. Nice try, buddy. But I always remember him doing the sweetest things for my mom. For instance, for their 18th anniversary he planted her 18 rose bushes outside because she had mentioned one day in passing that she had always wanted rose bushes. I also remember times when we were growing up that I would watch them Shagging to beach music in the kitchen while they cooked. My Mom used to travel a lot when we were younger. He would always step up to the plate in helping her out without complaints, letting her know that he had these handled and not to worry. **Side Note: I will also point out that he chose that opportunity to put all of our outfits on backwards with underwear on our heads as a way to play jokes on the ladies at our preschool. We also had beans & dogs every single night for dinner - no complaints here! And when we were still in diapers and we had pooped, he would take us over to my Gramma's for her to change it.**But whenever she got home he was always the first one at the door to give her a hug and kiss. When I was younger, I found it disgusting that they did this every day. In front of us! Didn't matter if either one of them were coming back from a trip or just coming home from work. They always met each other with at least a kiss and 'I love you'. He taught us that marriage is not always happy and in order for it to be successful you both have to work at it. He was always showing us that it's the little things that mean the most.
By now you are getting it that my Dad is the best. Let's be honest, he has been dealing with 4 females for all these years - you're welcome, Daddy! These are just a few of the billions of reasons why. Above all of these, he is our biggest supporter. He has been there through all the tears, arguments, talks about boys, heartbreaks, losses, and gains. He has never deserted us - even when some of us have pushed him to his limits (I'm talking to you Sarah & Sydney, I was the angel) and would have deserved everything we had gotten in return. And this man's greatness doesn't stop with family. He is the most caring man to everyone he meets- even if he doesn't always express it best. He is so willing to help out anyone that needs it. And believe it or not, once you get past the grumpiness he's really fun to be around.
People say that my father and I are just alike. This is the highest form of compliment anyone has ever given me because I can't think of a better person on this earth. If anyone ever dares to say differently, I will gladly put them in their place.
Daddy, I am so proud to call you my father and even prouder for Mason to have you as a Paw Paw. We thank you for sticking with us women even when we grossed you out with our unladylike actions, foul conversations (talking to you two again, Sarah and Sydney), when we made your hair fall out (still sticking with that one?), our drama, all the "Daddy"s in our innocent voice that will most likely result in you doing something that you don't want to do for us, helping us get on our feet, and all the other trials we have put you through. And as a 'thank you' to you, we will make sure to find you a good home when it's time and then tell the docs that "a bullet's a nickel" when dealing with all your expensive old-people meds. We love you to the moon and back, Grumpy Man!