As the countdown continues (well restarts, I was away there for a bit!), I couldn’t not acknowledge the two men who have influenced my almost forty years the most.
The first is obviously my Daddy. And yes, as a Southern girl, I still call him Daddy and will until I am in my grave. I may be a woman but he is always my Daddy. He and I are very different and he is responsible for many more than one fit of frustration and feeling of inadequacy. He is, however, one of the most sincerely kind, generous men in the world and I know now, have always known, and will always know that he loves me. He gave me life. That makes him a father. He gives me love. That makes him Daddy.
A Daddy can be a girl’s first love. But eventually other men start to invade the landscape once dominated by good ol’ dad. For better or worse (I usually think better), I don’t have a long list of men scattered along the map of my past. I found my soul mate very early. Like high school early. Like Reagan was still president early. Yeah… early. And while I sometimes watched Carrie Bradshaw with a little envy as she manuevered the worlds of first kisses and new loves, I always knew that I had something real and would never EVER be broken up with on a Post-It note.
So if my Daddy made me the girl I was, my husband has shaped the woman I’ve become. The first birthday we ushered in was in 1988. I was 17 and he took me to play Putt-Putt golf. We also stole a stop sign but as I don’t know the statute of limitations of theft of government property, we’ll leave it at that.
Outside of the ill-gained signage for my wall, he also gave me a really cute skirt and shirt (Liz Claiborne — tres chic at the time!). As I turn 40, I look back and can remember many a great gift. When I turned 21, he got me a Super Nintendo because he said that everyone else would be focused on me growing up and this was about still being a kid. (Oh the late night hours spent eating cheap pizza and playing Mario or Zelda or Tetris!)
When it was time to turn 30, he knew I was stressed about it so he counted down “30 days until Traci is 30”, giving me a small gift each day. that was pretty cool! It was fun. Made me feel like a kid again and therefore, not old.
Two years later, he gave me the best gift ever. He gave me a son. Followed three years after that with a daughter. Two of the most beautiful angels, God ever held in His hand. And their mine. Basically, he gave me a family and made me a mother. And being a mother made me the woman that I was meant to be.
I don’t know what he has in mind for the 40 (he definitely hasn’t done 40 days until Traci is 40 but that’s a little tougher after kids!) BUT IT DOESN’T MATTER.
Because really, I have it all. I may not be wealthy. But I am rich. I am loved by many including two of the best men I know. So Happy Father’s Day to them both and all the “Daddy”s out there.