Scrolling any social media you are bound to come across a link that says “10 Things a Daddy’s Girl Will Tell You” or “13 Things All Little Girls Want Their Dad to Know”. I’ve read all of these lists and usually they are so far off base from what my relationship is with my dad. Growing up I always envied my friends who called their dad their best friend. I looked at fictional characters on T.V. and in books that had impressive heart to heart conversations with their dad while throwing a football around in the backyard. I always assumed it was just a fantasy made up by the media and there was no such thing as daddy’s little girl. I also thought that it was because I was overly girly and my military dad didn’t like the pink, the glitter, and all the Barbie dolls.
I have recently come to terms that I’m not daddy’s little girl and I never will be. But that isn’t said with a sad tone. My dad is strong, stubborn, smart, and extremely unique. He will never want to throw a football around on Sunday afternoon or even watch a Sunday football game. He doesn’t want to sit around, talk, and drink a beer with me or anyone. He won’t go out for lunch spontaneously. And because of this, he is amazing. I see now that I am a lot more like my dad than I ever wanted to admit. My little sister is basically a mini Chuck. She shares his need for never changing routines, use of articulate language, joy for simplicity in life, and sees home as the only means for comfort. I tend to never do the same thing twice and I can talk and talk and have never said anything. I enjoy spoiling myself and others and I want to adventure all over the place. So how is it that I am just like my dad exactly? Well, I’m still trying to figure it out. All I know is that we are both stubborn and sort of bad with communication – not a good mix. We have different ideas on how things should be done even though either way it will get done. I have finally grown up and I realize now that we both like to be right – but usually never agree on what the right way is.
I’m not daddy’s little girl because for me that would just be weird. If you knew my dad you would understand why. He’s not going to read fairy tales (he tends to believe in only the reality of things), he isn’t going to learn how to braid hair (he thinks hair should be simple, not excessively displayed and adding twelve sparkly clips is a no-no), and he isn’t going to have a spontaneous snowball fight while shoveling the driveway (the point is to clear the snow away, not make a bigger mess; also he hates snow). Overall, my dad is a pretty funny dude and I’m glad he’s my dad.
It’s better to be different anyways. Who wants to be just any old daddy’s little girl? I’m Chuck’s daughter and there are only two people in the world who can say that. We’re pretty elite. So here is my list of 10 things I want my dad to know.
- Every speech you gave about the dangers of driving is filed away in my head. Every day I become a more cautious driver because I hear you in my head telling me countless stories from your long history with driving. So everytime we get in a car together you don’t have to repeat the lectures. I got it the first time around but I’ll listen quietly because I know it makes you feel better.
- I might not say much but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to talk. Sometimes I’m just not ready to talk. We don’t have much to say to each other but that’s not for lack of trying. Communication is not our strong suit so sometimes I just want to sit in peaceful quiet with you rather than engage in a raging argument.
- Thank you. Thank you for feeding me, clothing me, and giving me a great home to live in for the last 22 years. You work tirelessly every day to give me what I need. You’re always there when I really need you.
- I’m sorry for all the pointless arguments I picked with you. I’m also sorry that the gray hairs on your head are probably a result of my stubborn need to argue for no reason. But to be fair, I learned how to argue from you. I am stubborn and stand up for what I believe in because you showed me how to never stop going after what I want.
- You have shown me how to stand up for myself in a mature and reasonable way. I might be hot headed sometimes (just like you) but you have shown me how to handle situations with grace and integrity. I respect your determination and I am a stronger woman because of you.
- I’m really glad you showed me the importance of small details. I may have gotten frustrated with you on more than one occasion for making us spend extra time on these small details but it has paid off. I know I can’t just ignore something little and expect it to get better. I know that it is better in the long run to pay attention to the small details. I still don’t know why we have to clean every bit of paper out of the paper shredder but I’ll do it and that qualifies as a small detail, right?
- I’m sorry I leave the lights on a lot. I think I’m getting better or at least I am trying to be better. Remember when I was nine and you said every time I left a light on I owed you a nickel? I’m really glad you didn’t collect on that.
- You have shown me that the world doesn’t revolve around me. You taught me how to be humble. I don’t always need to be the center of attention and I don’t always need to be right. Let me tell you – that one took many long years to acknowledge.
- I forgive you for not always understanding. I left hair ties on the bathroom counters, went through my blue eye shadow phase, refused to wear a winter coat to school, talked back to you, argued about doing chores, cried for no reason, painted my nails to get out of yard work, and ate the last cookie. Those teenage years were rough on both of us and we still butt heads constantly. I know now you didn’t understand and were probably afraid of me at times (I would have been afraid of me too, Dad). Now that I’m older, I appreciate you even more for putting up with me when I was a little brat.
- I won’t ever be your little girl. But I will be a grown, smart, independent, classy, grateful woman who you call your daughter. And there is nothing else I would rather be. So it’s okay that you don’t want to sit outside and drink a beer.
I love you, Dad. Happy Veteran’s Day.