“Oh, you see that skin? It’s the same she’s been standing in, Since the day she saw him walking away, Now she’s left, cleaning up the mess he made. Fathers, be good to your daughters. Daughters will love like you do.”-

As children, we tend to forget our parents are human. We often ignore that they have dreams, ambitions, goals—and though their role as parent requires perpetual sacrifice, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t allowed their lapses in humanity.

In truth, this is the only reason I have a fragile semblance of a relationship with the Millionaire (for those foreign to this pseudonym read Biological Father). The little girl in me wants to believe that one day he will wake up and apologize. That all the hurt and resentment will vanish as he steps into his role as my father. I sometimes think that during one of our conversations he’ll set aside his narcissistic, self-centered, slave master persona and be a doting male figure in my life. If wishes were fishes… if wishes were fishes.

I’m pretty sure my efforts toward any relationship with him are rather half-hearted, mainly because I’m very fortunate to have a great dad already. I’m blessed to have a man who stuck by me and forgave me for being a self-concerned brat to him. He loved on me and accepted me as his daughter from the bad until the great. Every time I think about him, I’m overcome with a deep, sincere gratitude for being allowed to call him Daddy.

My interactions with these two very different men also mark the drastic difference between a father vs. a daddy. We can belabor the distinctions but for the purpose of simplicity: a father donates his sperm; a daddy sticks around to guide you on your path to adulthood. I’m not sure what people are thankful for on Father’s Day, but I’m always thankful for my family. And knowing that even today I’m daddy’s little girls reminds me how favored I am to have someone to fill that role.

There are a few things to point out though which illustrates their differences:

1. A Daddy remembers: Daddy remembers my birthday. He calls me when he knows I have an important meeting or assignment due. He asks about my friends because he wants to make sure everyone is treating me right. Daddy once sent me flowers to my job just because I casually mentioned how I like it when others get them. He would send me cards and care packages in college to boost my spirits.

2. A Daddy listens: With Daddy, our conversations are an open dialogue. He allows me to talk, sort out my problems, but is ready with advice should I ask. And he willfully encourages. He wants to see me succeed, but he doesn’t take credit for my successes. The Millionaire lectures me for 45mins, expounding on his greatness and how all of my success are a result of his genetics.

3. A Daddy keeps his promises: We may all be inherently selfish, but when it comes to your word—it should be honored at all costs. I don’t know how much time, money, and frustration I’ve expended trying to make up for the lack when one of the Millionaire’s promises fall through. I racked up $500 in tires, that weren’t even right for my car), 3 years of AAA membership bills (which he offered to cover), promises of winter chains and snow hear. I could list it all—but I won’t. Here’s my thing, if you don’t have it then don’t front like you do to impress me. It’s more disappointing than if you never offered in the first place. Now each time something is offered, I respectfully decline. You may have to remind him a few times, but Daddy does what he says he’s going to do. And you never have to doubt his reliability.

4. Daddy never says words in anger: The Millionaire and I have had full-fledge fights in public, with words and well… other things. I inherited his stubborn, rackle demeanor. But when you call me a B!tch in the grocery store on Christmas Eve, well I suppose you and I will never have a harmonious relationship. It nettles me that I’m his only child, but instead of treating me with respect or kindness, I’m just another sheep that should yield under his shepherd-dom. Unfortunately for the Millionaire, I’m what they call “spirited” so I rarely buckle. In all the years that I’ve known him, Daddy has never tried to “break” me. He never goes for low blows or spiteful words. His conversations are calm, even in their admonishment. I admire his self-composure greatly. It’s hard being the Dad of 5, but you can see that he really does try to be what we need.

5. Daddy shows his love unconditionally: The Millionaire definitely has his priorities out of whack. He’s so focused on proving himself a success- demanding the world praise him for every minute endeavor—he regularly sacrifices meaningful relationships. Daddy knows that I would do anything for him, without doubt or question. I’ve yet to be able to muster more than the perfunctory “honor thy father” for the Millionaire. I refuse to be the only on putting in the work in our relationship. And really that’s what it is hard work. With Daddy I love him so easily, I accept him readily, and I treasure him deeply.

I’m a lucky girl.

These are a few things I’ve learned in my formative years about a Daddy’s love for his child.

Readers: If you have a relationship with your father, how do you know he cares? If you don’t, what role has his absence played in your life? Feel free to overshare in the comments, I like it a lot!

Happy Father’s Day DADDY!


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Michele
    Jun 18, 2012 @ 20:40:27

    Awww you’ve gotta love daddy. He is the best.


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