Fact: My father is physically the strongest person around town. The basement of my family's home is quaint and cozy, with it's decor consisting of power racks and leg presses. He is a conservative, catholic, down-home country boy. His blue-collared, hard working attitude has been ingrained into his biology since his youth. Anything my Dad ever wanted, he had to work hard for until he got it. For him, nothing came for free and nothing was ever handed to him. In his world, you only need the bare necessities; he sees no point in frilly, frivolous things, unless you can use them while stranded in the wilderness, to skin your dinner. He has a firm grip on reality and never finds himself distracted by preposterous daydreams or nonsensical fantasies.
So... you have to empathize with a man like that, who wound up with not only a daughter, (We all know that men don't go into fatherhood hoping for a girl), but a daughter like me. A man who found pleasure in throwing metal plates around with his buddies, started attending tea-parties and memorizing songs from Mary Poppins, when I came about. (Let's be real, I gave him no other choice.)
Talk about stepping out of your comfort zone, no man who places 1st in a power-lifting competition should ever be forced to play with Barbies. As painful and awkward as it probably was for him, he was and always has been a great sport in my life of goofy theatrics and silliness, supporting me in whatever I've wanted to do, since day one.
One of the things that I love most about my dear ol' dad is that he admits that he isn't the Superman that as a little girl I once thought he was, but you better believe he's trying. It seems like nowadays, most people become complacent in their lives once they acquire everything they think they need. A car, a house, some kids, a spouse and it's a done deal for most folks. But my dad wants to be better than all that. Don't get me wrong, my father is grateful for everything he has and loves his family with all of his heart, but on a personal level, he is constantly trying to learn new things. Most importantly, he wants to make a positive impact on the world, he wants to help others, he wants to know he's made a difference. He genuinely tries to be not only a good, but a great person. I guarantee that the man he is today is better than the guy he was yesterday. And the man he'll become tomorrow will be the best version yet.
Like most children and parents, more times than not, we struggle to understand each other. However, each moment I spend with my father, I learn something new about myself. And for that, I owe him everything.
And he loves me for the Crazy McCrayCray that I am.
The other day I had a really weird dream. I went to my dad and said that I had a dream in which he and I went to go get smoothies from a new smoothie shop. The smoothie shop was "supposedly" the best in the world. When we got there, I received notification their secret ingredient was dog urine and then disgustedly declined the drink.
After I disclosed this BEYOND ODD dream to my dad, he first looked completely grossed out, as if he might hurl, but then gathered his composure and laughed with me. What a guy! He still loved me after he discovered I am a raging lunatic, even while I'm unconscious.
Thanks pops. You rock.
"Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Until your good is better and your better is best."
- St. Jerome