My dad called me today.
For some of you, this may not be a life-changing event, but for me, it's HUGE. My dad is a great man. It took me a long time to realize it, but I did right around the time I pulled my head out of my ass and realized I was a young punk kid who had no idea what the hell I was doing in this world. I was about 25.
My dad married my mom when I was about 6. I remember the wedding and thinking how LONG it was taking, cause I was only 6 and therefore, had the patience of a gnat. I was my mother's flower girl (of course) and my godmother was her Matron of Honor. My mother made her own dress, because my parents weren't well-off or anything, and my dad wore his best cream colored polyester suit. He looked like Elvis.
My dad raised and took care of me like I was his very own flesh and blood. The sperm donor who contributed to my zygote is and always will be a pathetic loser who has no sense of responsibility, but I'll save that for another post. In the meantime, let's move on.
I never felt like I was the red-headed step-child (which is funny, because I WAS a red-headed step-child!), because my dad included me on everything. He taught me how to swing a bat, throw a football, and change the oil in my car. He taught me how to chop wood, climb trees, and swing on a tire. My dad rocked.
Then I turned 15, and my dad sucked. At least, in my eyes he did. I hated how tough and strict he was, and I hated that he didn't understand what it was like to be a teenage girl. Most of all, I hated that he wouldn't let me do the things that all of my other friends got to do. Like date, and wear make-up. Yep, my dad was STRICT.
My dad was a deacon in our church. He taught us from the very start that God loved us unconditionally, and he emulated that love as much as possible. Sure, I got my ass busted, but you know what? I am a productive member of society. I have never performed a drive-by shooting. I have never robbed a bank. I have never beat someone to within an inch of their lives and when asked in court why I did it, blamed it on the fact that I was spanked as a child. As far as I am concerned, there aren't enough children getting their asses busted these days.
Whoa - before you get all high and mighty on me and tell me how awful I am for condoning spanking, I repeat - I had my ASS BUSTED on more than one occasion. And I am JUST FINE. There's a difference between having your ass busted, and getting beaten by an abusive parent. And truth be told, abusive parents are going to abuse their children whether spanking is against the law or not. So get over it. Moving on.
My dad adopted me when I was 16. I had always used his last name, but this made it official. Not that a piece of paper made me any more his daughter, because there was never a hiccup in the process.
When I turned 18, I high-tailed it out of that little town I grew up in and headed to the big city of Phoenix, Arizona. I thought I knew it ALL. My dad was disappointed, and I knew it, but I didn't care. It took me 7 long years to realize that I had been an idiot, and to this day, I feel terrible for hurting my dad like I did when I left the way I did.
But, being the awesome guy that he is, he has since forgiven me. He gave me away at my wedding. The first time the man has ever worn a tux, and I got him to do it.
Monday was his birthday, and I called his cell phone to wish him a happy birthday. I got his voice mail, so I tried again. I got his voice mail again, so I left a message. I sent a homemade card too. He called me today, to thank me for calling him and to thank me for the card.
I love my dad. Happy Father's Day, Dad. I love ya!