I would like to tell you about the best Daddy in the whole world. He’s my Daddy and I love him sooooooo much. He lives in a house full of women and we all think he is awesome.
The Only Male
First and foremost there is, of course, my mother. She is the woman in charge. Then there is me. I moved in over nine years ago after leaving an abusing relationship and discovering I was pregnant. I have a little girl. There is also my younger sister who is fab, fun and single. Up until about four years ago there was also my Grandmother (a widow) and another younger sister. Six strong-willed, independent, individual women all used to having their own home and a giggly little girl full of smiles.
Amazingly enough, we all got along most of the time. The most friction is between me and my younger sister, of course. My parents have the master suite on the second floor. My grandmother has her own four room apartment over the garage. My daughter and I shared a room on the first floor. My one sister had the room next door. My other sister had a room upstairs. Personal space is a very important thing in an arrangement like this.
Daddy was working full-time. I was home based and working full-time. Both my sisters were going to college and working. My mother was the home maker and ran all the schedules. My grandmother was moral support and made us all get out weekly. My sweet little girl spent a lot of time with her grandmothers.
This may sound peaceful and well-organized, but women get emotional and hormonal. When things started getting out of kilter Daddy would step in and recommend we all go have quiet time in our personal space. (We got sent to our rooms.) He put up with squabbling siblings, dating young adults, an engagement and wedding, room rotations, hormones, a baby/toddler/preschooler, his mother-in-law and her declining health and a wife who was often tired and frustrated.
My parents have been married for 53 years come this August. The are the cutest couple. Daddy holds Mom’s hand every where. They go the car wash and kiss during the wash and rinse cycles. Mom is Daddy’s first concern. If she’s not happy, Daddy is cranky. If she cries, Daddy puts us all in order and reminds us that she may be our mother but she is HIS wife. My mother runs the house, keeps the schedules, watched my daughter while I worked, took care of my grandmother and made sure that everything was ready when Daddy came home.
My father and my grandmother were great friends. They often bantered at the dinner table and during family time. As my grandmother’s health declined he continued to be there for her. A stair chair was installed so that my grandmother could get up and down the stairs to her apartment. He and my mother make sure that she got out of the house regularly. When Grandma was recovering after surgery for a broken hip he visited her regularly at the nursing home. Daddy came home from work early on the day Grandma came home so that he could help. He and my mother spend many and evening with Grandma. For the two years that Grandma would tell us after dinner that she would not be here in the morning, he would smile and say, “See you in the morning.” After a while he looked at her and said, “Make up your mind. Are you going to die or not?” Grandma told him he was being impertinent and we all laughed. When my grandmother did pass away, he missed her.
Having three grown daughters in the house was a real challenge. We all tried to get along and not argue, but we are sisters after all. There is the normal teasing and heckling, but there were also blowouts and complaining. We all get sent to our rooms at one time or another. He also offered to let us move out if we couldn’t get along.
My sweet little baby girl was born and joined the estrogen filled household. She has been a joy and stole her Grandpa’s heart. Of course my Daddy is the only daddy she will ever know. She called him “Daddy Grandpa” for the longest time. She differentiated between “Daddy” activities and “Grandpa” activities. “Daddy” tiled the bathroom floor, built a computer desk and worked in the yard. “Grandpa” went to work, read her stories and took her out to eat. They have special activities that they do just the two of them. Grandpa now helps her with her homework.
Patriarch and Gentleman
I can count on one hand the number of times that I have heard my father swear. They all were related to my mother being upset or hurt. The one time that sticks most in my mind I was about ten-ish. It was Saturday and we children were supposed to get our chores done. We had doddled, played and ignored my mother’s pleas and ultimatums. It was now after dinner and we were still not doing our chores. My mother went upstairs in tears. Daddy came downstairs and said, “Damn it!” We children froze like deer in headlights. We were told that our chores would be done within the hour and there was to be no talking. That evening six children did their chores quickly and in absolute silence. We knew after that it was not wise to upset Mom because Daddy would come to her defense and take her side.
Daddy always opened my mother’s door. He taught my brothers to open doors for their mother and sisters. He treated his daughters with respect and taught us that we were worthwhile.
Daddy worked hard. We never went without even though there were nine children. We had a nice home, nice things and family time. He gave up many corporate opportunities to be there for us. We never knew what he gave up, just that he was always there for us.
Now that my Daddy is getting older and his health is starting to slide, we, the women in his life, have the wonderful opportunity to give back to him what he has always given to us.
Thank you Daddy for being my Daddy. I love you.