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Happy Father's Day from a Daddy's Girl

June 17, 2012 - Kristy MacKaben
When I was around Julie's age my favorite place to be was by my Daddy's side. A trip to the "dump" to drop off furniture would seem like a boring, stinky trip to a seven-year-old girl. Not for me. I think I just liked our car conversations. Plus we always stopped for ice cream on the way home. Grocery shopping was another favorite weekly outing with my dad, who was the grocery shopper in our family. We would fill the cart with gallons of ice cream and bags of Doritos and accidentally "forget" some of the more boring items on my mom's shopping list. When I was snuggling on the couch with Daddy watching re-runs of "Mr Ed" I always felt so secure. We were buddies and he made me feel so loved. No wonder we danced to "Daddy's Girl" at my wedding. I think we became especially close after my sister Kelly was born. At five years old I was used to getting all the attention. A needy newborn was a shock to me. I have a vivid memory of my mom nursing Kelly in her bedroom with the door closed. Typical to a self-absorbed kindergartener, I remember feeling sad, and rejected in a way. My dad understood that and made it a point to make me feel special too. Sometimes we would "run away" for a day. I would pack my little Holly Hobbie suitcase with dolls and other essentials and Daddy would take me on a trip. One of my favorite destinations was a little cafe on the water. I have no idea where this was, but I remember standing on the pier, watching boats and the water lap at the dock. I know I was spoiled. I won't deny that, and Daddy stuck up for me (and Kelly) to a fault...even when we were wrong. One particular time I was caught making prank phone calls with a friend. I swore that we were innocent and Daddy believed me. That's something I still feel bad about. The other thing about my dad is he always believed we were the best, even though we weren't quite the best at everything. When I was cut from the volleyball team for the second year, Dad tried to bargain with the coach to let me on the team, insisting he would buy the uniform. That was completely embarrassing, but just another testament of his love. (Of course I refused to join the team because I was a humiliated high school sophomore.) The day my parents dropped me off at college was probably one of the most depressing days for my dad. I was an insecure college freshman eager to make friends and start this exciting new life. After we unloaded all my belongings into my tiny dorm room, they invited me to dinner, but I turned them down. I wanted to check out the dining hall, explore, find friends in my dorm, and most importantly find out where the party was that night. I'll never forget the look in my father's eyes. He was hurt, but he knew he had to let me go for just a little while. As a mom, I now understand how horrible I probably made him feel. Of course I wish I could take back any hurtful or unkind moments, but that's what life is all about I guess. All I know is that I couldn't have asked for a better father. He taught me so much about kindness, generosity, patience and of course love. Happy Father's Day to a great man!


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