There's a line in a song Taylor Swift sang about her father: "He had my back even when I was wrong."
That gets me every time.
It kind of sums up the relationship with my dad. For Dad it was all about unconditional love. He truly supported my sister and me no matter what. He stuck up for us and he trusted us to a fault.
Right around 6th or 7th grade I was befriended by a neighborhood girl who was had a rough life. She was constantly finding ways to get into trouble. One afternoon we decided to prank call another girl in the neighborhood. Little did we know her dad was a police officer and he traced the calls back to my house. (Back then, caller ID was not the norm.) Of course the cop contacted my parents. Terrified, I swore I didn't do it. And, I specifically remember Dad believing me. I'm not sure whether I ever told him the truth.
Much worse than getting grounded was suffering my dad's disappointment. I can never remember Dad yelling or raising his voice. (Spanking wasn't even close to a possibility in our house. My parents didn't believe in it.) Soft spoken and gentle, Dad just talked to us when we did something wrong. That's it. Just a simple conversation. But, he never failed to express his disappointment, and it often came with the "look." That was the worst. I'm not kidding. That look kept me out of a lot of trouble. It didn't scare me. It just made me so completely sad. I never wanted to disappoint him.
And, it all goes back to how much I loved him. He loved us so much and made it so clear how proud he was of his daughters that we always wanted to make him happy. Many of the things I did in school and even later in life were to make him proud. It was just the best feeling.
He had a way of making us feel as if we were the most special girls on earth. Of course we eventually realized that wasn't exactly true. But, what a wonderful way to grow up.
Thanks for making me feel so special Dad. All the time.