My dad is most definitely the first man I loved. And still love immensely. He taught me how worthy I am of being loved. He courted me and Meg, showing us how we should be treated when we started dating (which he hoped was never). He took us on dates regularly. Meg and I looked forward to those dates with great anticipation. UT Basketball games. Bowling. Ice cream. Whatever. We love being with Dad. He made sure that both of us felt treasured. And in turn, I looked for that feeling when I dated. And I found it in Scott. I know that Dad was very purposeful in the way he fathered. I even knew it by the books on his night stand, and the men he met with every Monday morning. They got together (and still do) to study about being good Christian men. Much of their time was spent on being good dads.
I think Dad thought he was not home enough. He worked long hours and traveled some. But I never thought that. I always felt like I received 100% of his attention. We called him at the office and now I can picture what might have actually been going on when we called–deadlines approaching, clients calling, opposing counsel wanting answers now. But he acted as if he was sitting by the phone, waiting for our call, with nothing else in the world to do.
We also had breakfast together every morning. Dad was the breakfast cook. Sometimes we ate cake for breakfast. Those were the best days.
He was definitely the “polishing the gun on the porch as our date came to pick us up” kind of guy. He also had a tendency of calling our dates by the wrong name. I am certain it was on purpose, and it hindsight, it was very funny.
He does, in fact, call Scott by the correct name. I consider that progress.
Dad also taught Meg and I to be a little tough. He loves the outdoors and instilled that same love in Meg and me.
Dad is my deer meat supplier now. I regularly raid his freezer and he never complains.
In the last 4.5 years, it has been a pleasure to see Dad add “Pop” to his list of titles. And I have never seen a little girl love her granddaddy as much as my niece, Jane, loves her Pop. Pop plays like no other.
And what used to be Dad’s quiet time in the morning–just for him to enjoy the quiet of the morning with the paper is a little different with little people around.
I don’t think he minds.