Saturday, November 23, 2013

Daddy Dearest

Many are posting about gratitude daily this month.

Today, I want to share how grateful I am for my daddy. He is no perfect dad, but then again, I am no perfect daughter and I am certainly no Mary Poppins.

As far back as I can remember, in early childhood, my dad took his life responsibilities as a man, a father, and a husband seriously. Both my parents worked full time. My mom worked longer hours in the office and got home later than my dad. My dad took home life just as seriously, if not more so, as work life. He cooked dinner the nights my mom worked late and taught my sister and me how to cook. Starting at an early age, he taught us various subjects, including but not limited to: math and English.

At the very tender age of 4 and 1/2, I asked my dad permission to take piano lessons. I remember that day I asked my dad for permission clearly. We were standing next to my dad's car in the garage, when my sister was having her piano lesson in the family room, pleading with my dad to let me take lessons, too. He admonished me that lessons were expensive and I had to be willing to practice daily. I gave him my assurance I would, and, he conceded. How would he know if someone so young was capable of being that serious about learning a musical instrument? He took a risk on me, and to this day, I am so thankful he let me take lessons. A year later, I had learned all the scales and a new teacher, who was hesitant about taking on a child so young, took me because I had already learned so much. Though very busy, my dad would often sit down and listen to me practice. From that time, I had numerous years of formal training - private lessons - in piano, and I have benefited so much from those lessons.

Besides all that, my dad had a diligent life work ethic, and he passed that on to my sister and me. Though playing and relaxing were and are important, both of my parents ingrained in us that working hard in life is non-negotiable. My dad did most of the grocery shopping, did all the lawn care, grew a garden, did the family's bookkeeping, figured out how to fix the house when needed, took care of maintaining both cars, cooked, did laundry when needed, helped with dishes, took us to lessons, all while working full-time.

I guess perhaps I was naive. I did not know men were different from this until after I got married. Then a whole different world of how men react differently in married life and how they assume (or do not assume) responsibilities opened up. I will say that opening up was more of a rude awakening. There are plenty of men who feel that working full-time is plenty of work and that working full-time gives them a free ticket to do little to nothing else in the home or for the family. I am acquainted with many men of different ages that do not do half what my dad did and does.

Today, I am truly grateful for my dad and the wonderful example he set. I love and respect my daddy.

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