My dad was never "dad" to us. He was papa when we were small and then when we were older we dropped the A and he was always our pop. Pop was mine when I was small. I was the oldest girl and a tomboy growing up on a dairy goat farm. Many of the memories I have from my childhood consist of a little girl wearing some worn boots, an old t-shirt and some jeans that more than likely had holes worn in them. My long hair, always falling out from its braid around my face. One thing guaranteed, was that if you needed to find me, it would be trailing behind my pops in the field. Working with the goats, picking vegetables on Friday nights for market on Saturday, traveling to goat shows, selling firework over the 4th of July, or the many nights of playing Uno are some of the memories that will never die. My favorite Saturday mornings as a kid were the the weeks when he stayed home with us. Scrambled eggs with a little chopped onion and cinnamon toast were always the breakfast of choice and of course they would be consumed watching cartoons. (the only day cartoons were actually on if you did not have cable) . Thinking about the many warm summer evenings of playing "21" under the big barn light always leave me with such a wonderful feeling. Although, I hated doing some of those things as a kid (in the fields and on the farm) and I am quite sure even though I have such fond memories of them now, I whined and complained a lot about it, but what I wouldn't do to just go back a little while. Needless to say, I was daddy's little girl and proud of it. Although, most of my memories all run together these days, many of the lessons my pop taught me, I now find myself watching my husband teach our little girl.
I grew up with self-confidence. I knew he was behind me no matter what, mistakes and all. ...and when mistakes were made, to own up to them and to carry on. I grew up knowing that if I worked hard at whatever I wanted to accomplish, I could. There was no doubt that I would always be able to do anything if I put my mind to it and I could certainly do anything that any boy could do! My pops gave me a zest for learning. There was always something new to learn and a new book to read. As an adult raising my kids, I recognize the patience he had with us, the way he would explain stuff to us kids, just like we were adults.....and when we were adults, (or so we thought) the patience on a grander scale. If only I will be able to remember when to let go and let me children live and to give that non-judgmental advice and then to sit back and hope they take it. Oh, to think of some of the stuff I put him through!
My father left us way to early, when we lost him, I lost my best friend.
I have been lucky to marry a man and have two wonderful children since then. I love being able to relive those memories when I see my daughter with her dad. That special bond between father and daughter for yet another generation only brings unspeakable joy to my heart.
Happy Father's Day!