i love my dad.
he is the second oldest child - oldest son - of 15 children who grew up on a farm in kentucky. he inherited his mother's - mamaw's - calm, loving, steady personality. (i wrote about mamaw here) like mamaw, dad is soft spoken, does not not like confrontation, and works hard without complaint. from dad i got many things including ridiculously shaped toes, a strong dislike for confrontation and an eye for new scrapes/dents/any damage to my car.
this past weekend i learned a very important lesson
once you choose to become a parent, you are a parent for L I F E.
kids don't always leave the house at 18. it's so funny to me when i see some new parents on facebook say things like 'can't wait to see what the next 18 years brings with him/her!' and i'm like, um actually you will always be that kid's parent, so it's more like 'can't wait to see what this kid does for the rest of my life!' 'cause 18 years just doesn't even cut it.
my parents had 4 kids. we are now all past the age of 16 and so we all own our own cars. and what that actaully means is that even though my name or my brother's name or my sisters' names is/are on the car title .... dad's the one who does all the maintainence on the cars. my dad who is a little closer to the 60 year mark than the 50 pseudo-owns 4 cars and actually owns 2 :)
case in point : this past weekend dad changed the front brakes and roters on my car. do not ask me what a roter is because i only know it does something that helps with the stopping of the car when i press the stop peddle. after much talking/insisting my youngest sister and i convinced dad that the brakes on her car were H O R R I B L E! we of course were right (which is another thing : no matter how old the kid, he/she will always claim to know everything, until he/she has kids of his/her own - and since none of dad's kids are there yet, he's stuck knowing nothing for another 5-ish years)
so dad did my sister's front brakes. and then the finger nails down the chalkboard - witch being boiled in lava - ear drum shattering screeching started. dad asked us to come out and make sure he was actually hearing what he thought he was hearing. oh, he was. so he then changed out the back brakes and roters. at this point me and my sister needed an afternoon nap, so we left dad to work on the tires alone. i know, daughters of the year award right there. and 11 pm that night found him fixing the second flat tire of his day on my mom's car. so all in all, over this past weekend, my dad put on six new brakes, six new roters, and fixed two flat tires. all on his own.
and not only is he good, he's amazing. he did it all without complaining about the cost, time or energy it took. dad usually does not sleep well at night. he's up by 4 or 5 to be into work by 6 and usually doesn't get home until 5 or 6. he has helped me out financially. me. a child who has finally moved out. and yet, he's a parent, and parents still help out no matter how old the child is.
when you choose to be a parent, you are making a life long commitment to help another human being make it in the world. to live and succeed. dad helped me pay for college. and it's not just financial things. he takes the time to come over to my apartment and clean out my light fixtures when crickets get in there and die. he takes care of my car when the thought of brakes not working sends me into a panic. he doesn't force me to help him but welcomes my company if i come out and watch him work. cause i'm the paper towel getter - weed picker upper - etc etc girl.
i don't do the hard part of the work :)
in so many ways i see qualities of god, my heavenly father, in my earthly dad. (i wrote about how i would spend a day with god here) my heavenly father wants to hear about my day, help me when i am struggling, and spend time with me. just like him my earthly father wants to hear about my work days, help me when i am struggling financially, and spend time with me as he fixes my car.
one day i'll have a husband. and i hope that he is as thorough, precise, and wise as my dad is about fixing things in the house, doing yard work, and keeping our cars in good working order. among many other things.
once you're a parent, you're always a parent.
once you're a dad, you're always a dad.
i have a pretty great one.
i love you, dad.