Saturday, June 15, 2013
Father's Day Salute: How My Daddy Became My Buddy
My Daddy is the first man who ever loved me. He’s the first man who ever told me I was beautiful. He’s the first man who I knew I could trust completely. And to this day, I know that no matter what, my daddy will always have my back. He’s my steady anchor and a source of great wisdom.
Growing up, Daddy and I used to have long talks. I’d sit on the edge of his and my mother’s bed and we’d talk about all sorts of things. When I turned 16, Daddy and I had an interesting exchange that I’ll never forget. It was very simple, but it had lasting effects.
Daddy – “You need a buddy, and I’m gonna be your buddy.”
Me – “I don’t need a buddy. I’ve got friends!”
I was trying to assert my teenage independence by letting him know that I was just fine, and I didn’t need a clingy chaperone watching my every move. I knew right from wrong. I made good decisions. I did well in school. I stayed out of trouble, and I was a smart young woman. I had it all figured out. Ha! The truth was that my Daddy knew what I didn’t…that I hadn’t a clue in the world about the complexities of disappointment, love, hurt, loss, hardship, or the other tough lessons that life would teach me once I left the safety that he and my mother provided.
As promised, Daddy became my buddy. He monitored me like a hawk, continued our long talks, enforced a strict curfew, and gave me a ton of “unsolicited” advice that I thought was old-fashioned gibberish. When I’d tell him my views on life, which were almost always opposite from his, he’d just smile at me and say, “Keep on livin’.”
I lived, and boy did I learn. Each year that passed my Daddy grew wiser and wiser in my eyes. Actually, he’d always been wise, I just didn’t realize it until I came face-to-face with the things he’d warned me about all those years ago. My father isn’t a perfect man, and he doesn’t have to be. He’s God-fearing. He’s fair. He’s the strong, silent type. A man’s man. Rugged. Solid. Hard working. He taught me what to look for in a man, and he told me that my price/worth was far above rubies.