Tag Archives: daddy

To The Man I Adore

9 Jul

The year was 1982. And the bottle was Green Moss. Along with it, came explicit instructions to keep away.  So I did what all four-year-olds do. I climbed up to the cabinet, opened it, unscrewed the cap, and took in a deep breath to smell Daddy. He was at work. I missed him. This was the next best thing.  I remember the dark green liquid splashed all over the mosaic floor. The bottle lay halved in a corner. Daddy’s going to be so angry when he gets home, said Mum. And I quivered. Waited for the inevitable. Braced myself when he came in through the door. Daddy looked at me and smiled sadly. Shook his head like he was sorry. Nodded gently and walked away, my heart bumping behind him on a string. He has no idea this is when it happened, but at that precise moment, his ardent devotee was born.

The thing about having a male parent role model who is supremely gentle, emotionally available, and the center of your little girl universe is that it affects you in deep and insidious ways.  Beautiful and life-affirming ways. Quietly confidence-boosting ways. Valuing yourself comes effortlessly. Self-esteem is a non-issue, even when you know you aren’t exactly the belle of the ball. You never have to think about loving yourself because someone else has always done a damn good job of it and you are so sure the world will continue to do so. (And if it doesn’t, their loss, the people who matter do!) You know what you want in a partner. And avoid those loud, brash, supposedly macho, I’ll-be-your-savior sorts like the plague because who wants fire and brimstone when you can have sweetness and laughter and gentle support? If there is a single commonality between all the significant others I’ve had, it is this: they were all versions of my father. Adoring, patient and thorough gentlemen. And this I know, I am blessed.

Just this past weekend, Daddy spoke quietly and firmly to me about compassion and helping people even if it sometimes means being taken advantage of.  I don’t have his copious quantities of goodness. I do not trust easily, can see through people like a human x-ray, and save my kindness and loyalty for the truly worthy. Except, everyone deserves some, don’t they?  And if I can incorporate this easy to understand but oh-so-difficult to practice lesson in my life, I will not have squandered my chance to learn from the most precious and truly spiritual teacher: my own father.

Happy 66th, Daddy. This lesson and the many others you have for the world is why you need to keep blowing out those candles for the next 300 years.