An open letter to the first man who ever loved me.
Being a father is not an easy task. Being MY father is far from an easy task. You’ve not only been my dad but a man who I can count on no matter what. You’re the first man who ever told me he loved me and the first man who showed me what love really was.
To be honest, I can’t remember a time when you weren’t there for me — not only as a father, but as a best friend. As a child, you were my favorite playmate. I know that painting my teeny tiny toes and letting me follow you around in the tool shed wasn’t necessarily what you wanted to do, but you let me. More than that you encouraged me always ask questions and to never stop until I found the answer I was satisfied with. (Unrelentingly so.) You did these things to show me that when you love someone, you do things to make them happy and help them grow as an individual.
When the time came for me to start school, you added another title to your never-ending duties. With every math question I had and essay you proofread, you also got the job as my personal tutor. Although you’re always willing to help, you showed me that I can solve problems on my own.
You taught me about playing soccer and being a Girl Scout and when I decided to quit both to be a cheerleader, you allowed me to make that decision on my own, never not supporting me. There you were, at every single one of my games, competitions and practices being my own cheerleader.
As much as I want to thank you for being my dad, I want to apologize also. Raising a teenage daughter is not an easy task. I know I was a brat sometimes (most times) and my hormonal teen angst got the best of me on occasion.
Even though I snapped at you when you suggested I wear less makeup, I knew it was cause you saw my true beauty. At the time I was embarrassed when you demanded to meet my dates at the door, but now I understand you just wanted to make sure I was in good hands. I know I didn’t think you could ever possible understand and when you wouldn’t let me ride in cars with boys, I know it was for my own good. (Boys can’t be trusted.)
When the first boy broke my heart (and many to follow), instead of saying “I told you so”, you let me cry to you and you told me that sometimes I will get hurt in life but it’s his lose and I have to make myself happy first and foremost.
I was sometimes a handful of a daughter. But I think I inherited my stubbornness from you. I also know there is a long line of times when I’m going to make mistakes and ask for your forgiveness and guidance, again. Thank you for never asking too many questions until I’m ready to answer and always understanding my adventurous spirit (and only slightly lecturing me about money and responsibilities). I also think I’ve inherited my wanderlust from you as well.
When the day comes, I’ll ask your opinion on a guy, knowing deep down I won’t be able to commit without your approval. But also knowing deep down that you’re going to let me make my own mistakes, you’re going to let me figure out my own life.
Even though we don’t always agree, and you have no idea why I’d ever live in New York City (or why I ever left Georgia in the first place), you’re still my favorite man in my life. I hope you realize just how loved and respected you’ve always been.
You’ve always been my biggest fan and where ever I end up, I hope I make you proud.
I love you to the moon and back, Daddy. Happy Father’s Day!