I just read this article on Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kelly-m-flanagan/words-from-a-father-to-his-daughter-from-the-makeup-aisle_b_4670638.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009

It was a beautiful letter and made me think back to my relationship with my father. I’m an only child and as a girl went through all those typical stages you would expect.


Me (about 4) and my Daddy

Me (about 4) and my Daddy

Starting with thinking my Dad was the be all, end all of my world. I would get up early and run errands with him. I dressed myself, wore what I wanted and he never cared. It was all about having his little girl at his side. He carried in his work truck a picture of me (about 4?) in a frilly purple dress. I was beside myself that my Daddy always had me with him. He taught me how to ride a bike with no training wheels. No matter that it was later than most of my friends–due to my fear of pain. He spent the entire afternoon, scooping me up from the ground, plopping me back on the bike and encouraging me to try again.  What I remember about that day was the MASSIVE bruise I ended up with on my thigh thanks to the combination of a brick wall and the pedals on the bike. It was the best battle wound EVER–or so I thought.

Then of course I hit that pre-teen/teenage years. My Dad I know spent those years very confused. He didn’t understand me and I certainly wasn’t going to EXPLAIN myself to him, I mean geez, I was his daughter! My best memory was in 8th grade I was on the phone with two friends (one girl, one boy) and I’d been on the phone for probably a good hour and half by this point. My Dad never understand the need to talk for so long about absolutely nothing, especially since I just saw these people at school. It baffled him. He got bored. So he decided a water battle was the perfect way to alleviate his boredom. I stayed on the phone the entire time, running around the house throwing glasses of water, using water guns, screaming at the top of my lungs. I screamed about him interrupting my phone call but I never stopped playing with him. Even though I thought otherwise, my Dad was still the center of my world, and I would do whatever he wanted, even if I was doing something else.



High school was rough. I didn’t along with my either of my parents a lot. Typical. The angst of growing up, and growing up an only child. But when I found my passion in theater my Dad came to every show, even if he’d seen me do it before. He brought pizza for my theater group one night during tech week, when we were stuck at school late practicing for opening night.  He brought me lunch during state competition (yes, theater has competitions!) and always came with flowers on opening night. We argued over boys (a lot) and we argued over curfew (a lot) and there was a good bit of time when I had no bedroom door because I was always slamming it. I was just as baffled by my father as he was by me. Yet it made me smile and feel like the most special person in the world seeing him in the lobby after each show.


And then slowly you grow into an adult. You start interacting with your parents as adult to adult. But in my heart of hearts I’m still Daddy’s little girl. I surprised him with a visit last Father’s Day. I always sign my cards “Love, Tiger” (his nickname for me). I still play with him, even if now it’s Cards Against Humanity and not water battles. All though a water battle sounds like a really good idea! I’ve come to realize that my father never told me I had to be a certain way, dress a certain way, act a certain way. I was who I was and that was perfect in his eyes. I was stubborn, made bad decisions and stumbled through life blindly, blissfully ignoring all the advice he’d given me over the years. Or so he thought. Once I was an adult it became apparent that my love of life, my respect for life, the core of my ideals as a strong, independent woman had been nurtured and grown from the advice my Dad had given me growing up.

To make it that much better about how amazing my Dad is…he’s not my biological father. He met my mother when I was two. Married her when I was five. I was the flower girl in their wedding. But this man, this man knows what it means to be a father!

Thank you Daddy!