Saturday, 1 September 2012

Daddy, I love you

Back in May I dedicated a post to my Mum.  Well, I've been planning to do this for a while, and seeing that tomorrow is Father's Day here in Australia, it's time to do a post for my Dad.

I was really lucky because my Dad worked from home for most of my growing up years.  That meant he always had time for me.  Even with three siblings, I always felt like he had time for me.

Dad spent a lot of time in the car over the years!  He drove me and my three siblings to school when it was wet, various friends' places and events and all the things that kids and then pre-drivers get up to :-)  And he was always happy to do it!  I don't recall him ever complaining about it, or even being slightly grumpy.  I'm a bit in awe of that actually!

I think my strongest memories of my Dad are the times that he drove me to dance classes.  It would be just him and me in the car most of the time and I could pick his brains about anything.  We had a great, communicative relationship anyway, but driving time was the best!

I was certain my Dad knew everything, because, like most little girls I guess, my Dad was my hero!  And he did have an answer for all my questions!

See, Mum was my practical wisdom go-to person, but Dad was my philosophical wisdom go-to person.  And I loved exploring the goods and evils of the world with him, the whys and wherefores of schoolground politics, how I should react to the mean boys or nasty girls, or the boring teachers ;-).  Dad was a pastor so I also talked about all aspects of Christianity with him too.  He explained stuff that was way over my head in ways that really made sense to me.

Dad also ran (with Mum and some other people) a primary (elementary) school aged youth group.  It was so fun!  It was kind of based around Scouts so we did lots of games and stories, but also learned life skills like map reading, lighting fires, rescuing people and basic first aid.  I was always so proud of how much Dad knew and how well he taught it, and that my friends got to see how lucky I was.

And I always knew how lucky I was to get the Dad I got.  I knew, without a doubt that my Dad loved (and still does love) me!  He gave me time, knowledge, patience, wisdom, computer skills, and a framework for viewing and evaluating my life.  There is no way I would be the person I am today without my Dad!

We had lots of fun with Dad too!  He instilled in us a love for playing cards and board games.  I'm pretty sure almost every school holidays included us all playing Rummiking or Threes together.  And those times were full of laughter. 

And, of course, the days out in the bush running around, following Dad rock jumping along rivers and creeks, lighting the fire and cooking snags (sausages) for lunch, then finishing off with some toasted marshmallows or damper with lots of butter and jam.

Dad always had music on in the house too. The radio or a cassette (showing my age), and always a whole range of music - international music, Christian, pop, rock, and others.  I don't think we had much classical or opera in the house, but I love the range of music that he introduced me to.

When I was a pre-schooler, Dad flew small planes and I remember flying with him when I was only 3 or 4 and feeling so safe, even when the plane got a bit bouncy from turbulence.  Thanks to him I've never been afraid to fly!

As I got older, my Dad was still the person I went to if I was feeling blown about by the world.  He is a rock of reason and comfort.  The times I've felt like I had it all figured out and then the rug gets pulled out from under me, Dad has been a solace, helping me to find my feet again.

Now that I'm all grown up and married and have a child of my own, I'm still inspired by my Dad.  As he and Mum go out and re-create their life in many ways, Dad inspires me to discover and re-discover the things I love; To expand my horizons and stretch my boundaries; To reconsider the things that I thought I'd written off and see if they actually still fit me; To value friendships, old and new; to dare to live the life that I've been given.

My Dad is a romantic and writes great letters and cards.  Birthdays, Christmas and other card-giving occasions always included specific mentions of the things he loved about us or was proud of or thankful for.  I don't know about my siblings, but it always makes me feel so special and loved.

Dad isn't a handy man - he doesn't fix things or rebuild cars or much along that line.  But he taught us what he did know and always made me feel loved.    And I think that's THE most important thing for a father to do - make sure your kids feel special and loved, and know that you're proud of them.

Dad, you score 100% on that one!  I love you so much and am SO grateful to have been blessed with you for a father!  Being this far away has its particularly sucky parts, like not being able to share a great meal and bottle of wine with you tomorrow.  But I want you to know that I value the impact you've had on me, and the love you give.  You're still my hero Daddy and I miss you so much.  I hope you have a great day tomorrow and I'm looking forward to calling you and having a good ol' chat :-D  I love you heaps!

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