For my Dad.
I know that in my adult years we haven’t had the relationship we could have. In some ways it’s gotten much better, but in others it is forever changed. At some point, during my early teen years, although becoming more and more quirky myself, I suddenly lost all patience for my quirky father. As an adult I work to stretch that patience, but it still seems very limited.
I know we don’t see each other often and our visits are brief, but I want you to know that I still remember daddy’s little princess; she still lives somewhere deep inside of me.
At times, when I’m short with you and frustrated, I forget. But, I want to tell you about the other times; when I remember.
I take my time to fold t-shirts the same; with the wrinkles smoothed out and the collar facing left.
I write a check.
I cut my tuna salad sandwich into quarters.
I make chocolate peanut butter milkshakes.
I reminisce to Loverboy’s “Heaven In Your Eyes.”
I enjoy reading a book.
These are the things I do and the times that I remember my father, I remember being daddy’s little princess and I love and miss you all that much more.
You taught me to pay attention to detail. From ensuring my clothes were neat and wrinkle-free to being mindful of when others will have to interpret my handwriting.
You paid attention to the little things. From cutting my sandwich to the exact specifications, to creating the perfect balance of chocolate and peanut butter, to dancing with me to old vinyl records.
You taught, instilled in, and supported me in perhaps the only thing I’ve ever really stuck with. From holding my hand in the early years to buying my first pair of roller skates when my feet finally stopped growing. Now, going on thirty, I still go to the skating rink with my skates tucked in my elbow just as I did more than fifteen years ago.
A few weeks ago I saw a man, perhaps a little older than me, at the skating rink with his young daughter and her friend. I couldn’t help but think of you and all the times you took Carrie and me skating, whether you were going with us or dropping us off. The memory made me smile.
You may, or may not, realize it, but I also credit you for my love of reading. I remember when you would read to me before bed. I often think that you were my motivation for learning to read when I did. When you’d fall asleep, I’d have to figure it out on my own if I expected to finish the story. I also remember our trips to the library and I always think of you when I pass through the children’s section.
Our relationship has changed over the years, for better and worse, but I want you to know that I didn’t forget. Even though I’ve found new heroes, I remember when you were the sole bearer of that title. I remember being daddy’s little princess.