If it wasn’t for my dad…

by Lesley on June 21, 2009 · 3 comments

in family

dad-and-lesleyThere’s a picture in my room today that has not left my nightstand since I was a baby.  My dad is holding me, a scrunchy faced newborn, in the delivery room. His mouth and nose are covered by a mask, and his thick dark hair is under a cap. Although his eyes are all that shows, anyone that knows my dad can tell he’s smiling.

For many years, that picture was deep and rich in color, held securely inside a white porcelain frame with colored hearts around the edges. Only a few years ago did I decide to upgrade to a silver frame. And, only recently did my mom point out how much it’s faded over the years.

I don’t know why I love that picture so much. I certainly wasn’t cute yet—and my dad is barely recognizable—but it radiates joy, and love, and protection, and certainty more so than any other picture I own.  

A few nights ago, as I was writing my dad his Father’s Day card, I started reflecting on some of the things he’s given me the last 27 years. The result is this list:

 If it wasn’t for my dad…

I’d have become a flag dancer instead of a volleyball player.

I wouldn’t’ know the difference between want and need.

I’d take much longer showers.

I might have married a man that was just okay instead of amazing.

I’d have a weak handshake. 

I’d have never learned to Do-si-Do at Girl Scout Square Dances, or memorized the 50 states and 500 SAT words.

 I’d be a 100% wimp.

I wouldn’t know the true art of hiding food—like chocolates and cookies—when you don’t want others to eat them first.

I definitely wouldn’t cry as much during toasts and speeches.

I wouldn’t have tried Dim Sum.

I’d never have discovered Dave Matthews Band or U2, or any other artist besides the Beach Boys. 

I might not have learned how to take risks.

I wouldn’t look at all sides of an issue.

I wouldn’t be me.  

Dad, I love you. Thanks for teaching me all the good things in life.

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