Friday, June 17, 2011

Not too far from that tree, either

As much as I am my mother's daughter, I am also my father's daughter.

My dad and I share a love of word games: spoonerisms, puns, rhymes, and bad jokes. We share a temper that manifests itself in streams of incoherent cursing. We believe that placing cold things on the back of someone's neck is an amusing thing to do. We believe popcorn is best with butter and salt and in a big ol' orange bowl.

Whether it's because he's learned to live with my mom or that I'm so much like him, sometimes he knows how to read me and either put me in my place or what it takes to adjust my mood.

As a kid, I had a tendency to pout*. My dad is the one who taught me that birds have a tendency to poop on that out thrust lip. And what kid can not laugh in the present of a poop reference.

As a college student, home during Christmas, and struggling with what would become the start of a chronic run of clinical depression, my dad reminded me what the holiday season was really about. Not necessarily religion, but the transcendent feeling of watching kids playing in the snow, thrilled with the joy of living. Since that time, I've taught myself to look for the little joys around me. I'm not going to say it's easy and I'm not going to say it's the cure for depression, but I am going to say that finding the little joys makes surviving that much better.

As a bride, my father showed that he truly understands me and our relationship. When meeting with our officiant in preparation for the ceremony, we requested that the officiant not to ask for the bride to be given away. Yet, habits being habits, my dad walked me down the aisle and when we reached the officiant he asked "Who gives this bride away?" My dad, without missing a beat (and not knowing that I had asked not to be given away) said "No one. She comes here as her own person." Yep. He got it right. And then proceeded to call me "Baby girl" several times that day. For the first time in my memory.

How wonderful for a father to acknowledge his daughter's independence and dependence.


*It's possible I haven't lost this tendency


  1. I love how you describe your relationship with your dad. It sounds similar to mine. Also, the depression issue, I struggled hard with it in college too. We have a shocking amount of things in common. Must meet someday. Also the photo from your wedding, lovely!