As a child, I was the definition of Daddy’s girl.
A few bats of the eyelashes and a poke of the bottom lip and he was all mine. His rough exterior, 6ft tall frame and deep voice were immediately rendered useless.
Despite long hours working as a doctor, taking calls in the middle of the night and leaving for work before we even woke up, I have to say, no matter how exhausted my dad was, he never missed a soccer game, field hockey game or ballet recital.
In fact, my Dad really made an impression with all the ballet moms during one of my classical ballet competitions in high school. When it was my turn to compete the announcer called my name to which everyone politely and quietly clapped as I walked out onto the stage. My Dad, who was probably among the only men in the audience, yelled (in the silent theater) “GO KIA SEALS!” All heads turned to my Dad as my mom put her head down and pretended she had no idea who the crazy man sitting next to her was. Poor Dad.
When middle school came around, more specifically the boys started coming around, we all saw a whole new side of my father… One that still scares my male childhood friends today. I remember one time in 6th grade my “boyfriend”, with whom I used to hold hands with and listen to TLC , (“Waterfalls” was our song, a true child of the 90’s) called during dinner. My Dad picked up the phone said, “She’s not here” and hung up (it might have even been “she doesn’t live here” I wouldn’t have put it past him). I was horrified. My dad just hung up on the love of my life! How rude!
My mom who was equally horrified, albeit for slightly different reasons, said, “Jerry! You can’t just hang up on the poor boy!” Dad didn’t see what the issue was.
At 12 or 13 I started to get the sneaking suspicion that my Dad was more involved with my brother’s soccer team than my dance studio. I also began to wonder if he enjoyed going to my brother’s soccer games more than my ballet recitals. I just couldn’t imagine why. I quickly brought this to my Dad’s attention who said the only volunteer activities they have at my ballet school involved using a sewing machine or baking (let’s just say not my Dad’s fortes).
Ever the manipulator I had a trick up my sleeve. Just that day a sign-up sheet went up at my ballet studio asking for male volunteers for our spring production of Sleeping Beauty. Dad said of course he would volunteer (he assumed he would help build the set or do some heavy lifting). Not quite… turns out they were looking for men to actually dance in the ballet. At this point, there was no turning back…
My Dad was a truly good sport, attending all the rehearsals and quickly making friends with the other Dad’s who had fallen for a similar ruse.
When the time came for dress rehearsal my Dad’s love for his only daughter was without a doubt put to the test. The costume required all the men to wear tights. Tight tights. To this day I don’t think he’s gotten past how tight the tights actually were. I now know my Dad really loves me. (I would include a picture but that’s just a bit too cruel for my taste).
My poor Dad has put up with a lot over the years…
I love you Dad. Happy Father’s Day.