For as far back as I can remember, my dad was awesome. He was always there for my brother and I, fixing our bikes, or getting dirty in the sand box with us. He was a fantastic father, and he still is.
I’m turning thirty in a few days, and I have to admit that it wasn’t until my early to mid twenties that I truly appreciated my parents. I finally understood all they gave up so that their children never had to go without. I’ve also realized that I’ve learned so much from each parent.
From my mother, I learned to appreciate being a woman, how to be my own person, how to be a fantastic mother to my son, to follow my dreams, and to live my dreams. Mommy taught me that in order to become someone, you have to be someone first. Find out who you are, be comfortable in your own skin and with yourself, and never listen when someone tells you you’re not good enough or that you may not make it. While I was growing up, she showed me time and time again that a mother’s love was powerful, life giving, unbreakable, and most importantly, that it was unconditional.
But so much of the person that I am today is also because I had a loving father in my life. Dad taught me how to ride a bike, how to mow a lawn, plant and maintain a garden, be a woman that respects herself, be a daughter, be a role model to my son, and most importantly, my dad taught me to how be independent. He told me to never rely on anyone to get what you want. If I wanted something, I simply achieved it. There was no failing, dad said it simply wasn’t an option.
Having a father’s love surround you when your a female is something that’s hard to describe. It gives you such a sense of being wanted, of being adored, and respected. I was never afraid of anything with my dad around. The fact that he was a big Italian guy that had a permanent puss on his face was enough to scare people in the other direction anyway. But just his presence around me made me feel invincible. I felt I could move mountains if I wanted to.
I am the woman and mother I am today thanks to both of my parents. But it is because of my father that I am a strong and absolute female. A father’s love and attention cannot be replaced. And having that strong fatherly shoulder to cry on when your young and adolescent years flash before you means more to a daughter than any boyfriend ever will. I learned that when it came time for me to find a man in my life that I had no other choice but to emulate my father. After all, he was the only male authority figure that I had to go on…that I had to clone.
I enjoy manly men, thanks to my dad. I love a dirty guy – an auto mechanic, a construction foreman. But I also love an authoritative gentleman, a man that knows what he wants. A handsome fellow in an Armani suit and tie grabs my attention as well as any bookstore. My father was the man I wanted to duplicate because I had so much respect for him.
Father’s Day is a wonderful chance to say thanks to the man in your life that picked you up when you fell. The man that held out his hand for a firm handshake when your boyfriends came to pick you up for your dates. But most of all, the man that you have enough respect for to call Dad.
Thanks to my dad, and also to my mom, for making me the center of their world.