As I get to watch my hubby learn, experience and dig into this daddy gig, I of course think about my own dad and his influence throughout my life. I think most of my earliest memories are from playing sports, and being coached by my dad. My dad coached every sport I ever played. Starting with t-ball and YMCA basketball on an 8 foot goal, to volleyball, basketball and softball through 8th grade. There weren’t many more involved dad’s than mine. He was at every single game I ever played, coach or not.
I still remember the last game that he ever coached and the last game I ever played with him as my coach. 8th grade softball. It was in the summer after my 8th grade year. In high school, in order to coach, you had to teach at the school. Since my dad is not a teacher, that was the end of his coaching days. I was hardly into the game because I knew what this game was. The last time for my dad to pitch me a ball, the last time he’d tell me what to do, and how to do it. It would be the last game he would ever be able to yell at me and make me cry in front of my friends and teammates. Yes, that’s right. He’d yell at me and I’d cry – A LOT. I’m a crier and he’s a big, bald man with a deep voice. It was all because he is that passionate about sports and winning. Anyway, back to that game, if I remember correctly, I was the last at bat, 2 outs and we were losing. My dad wasn’t pitching, but I had the coaches switch so he could pitch to me for my last time hitting. I think I barely hit the ball and was out before I made halfway to first base. Tears streaming down my face, I stopped running to first base and ran straight to my dad’s arms. We lost but I didn’t care and neither did my dad. It was over for us. A bond that had started when I was just a little bitty girl, was coming to an end. I still played sports in high school and my dad was still at every game. But it wasn’t the same as the dad coaching his daughter dynamic. We have lots of sporting memories and it’s mostly what I remember growing up.
Other than our sporting relationship, my dad was just a good dad. He was a wonderful example of what a husband should be to a wife. Sure my parents argued every now and then, and things were not *always* perfect, but I really don’t remember many fights or hard times. Mom and Dad were always on the same page and we knew their first priority was us, my sister and I. My dad hugged us, told us he loved us and said he was sorry when he was sorry. He’s a good communicator and will still send me emails telling me that he is proud of me and who I have become. He cries, not often, but he does. He is not above shedding a few tears. He can fix ANYTHING that is broken. ANYTHING. He could make anything we ever wanted. Shelves, swing sets, playhouses, a bar for gymnastics in our backyard, a go cart (out of old lawnmower parts). The other day I asked him if he could help me come up with something to make Marielle a slide in our backyard so I didn’t have to spend thousands of dollars on a huge swing set. And he’s working on it.
All of these things, make up a wonderful dad. And he is my dad and I couldn’t ask for more. I LOVE YOU, DADDY!!
Fathers Day 2009