By Ginger Truitt
In my uncle’s office there hangs a framed cross-stitch that reads, “Anybody can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a Daddy.”
My father was only 19 when I was born, but he naturally assumed the role of daddy. Only a daddy would let you have sweetened iced tea in your bottle, and allow you to tear the TV Guide into little pieces just to keep you occupied.
Only a daddy would let you name the family dogs Butterfly and Pooky.
Only a daddy would put on his long underwear and dance in the kitchen with you after your first ballet lesson.
Only a daddy would let you go with him in the middle of the night to chase after sirens.
Only a daddy would let you order a Big Mac when you are 4 years old, even though you could never eat the whole thing.
Only a daddy would build a wooden church to go with all of your Fisher-Price little people play sets, and then sit on the floor and play with you for hours.
Only a daddy would leave hand-printed (‘cause you don’t know cursive yet) love notes around the house for you to find when you wake up in the morning.
Only a daddy would read an entire Hardy Boys book to you all in one sitting.
Only a daddy would have tears in his eyes when he has to give you a spanking because you broke the rules and rode your bike all the way to the American Legion parking lot.
Only a daddy would take the extra time to shovel a twisting, turning path to the bus stop during the blizzard of ’78.
Only a daddy would agree to be a fourth-grade “room mother,” and be so cool that all your friends wanted to ride with him on the next field trip.
Only a daddy would take time out from college and his 60-hour work week to build a fort and a see-saw in the back yard.
Only a daddy would tie a pink ribbon around a black cocker spaniel’s neck and surprise you when you came home from school.
Only a daddy would go out in the driving rain, after a long day at work, to take you to the drugstore because you just “have” to have purple glitter fingernail polish.
Only a daddy would sit in the front row at your high school play all three nights even though you didn’t have the lead role.
Only a daddy would give you a card when your first boyfriend breaks up with you that says, “If you love something, set it free. If it comes back to you, it’s yours to keep…”
Only a daddy would teach you how to make your old car look new again by introducing you to rubbing compound, Turtle Wax, and Armor All.
Only a daddy would listen to you cry when you call from college and say you are so homesick that you are thinking about packing up and quitting. And then give you the kind of encouragement that helps you decide to stay and tough it out for the semester.
Only a daddy can offer just the right words of wisdom when you are scared of getting married and moving to another state.
Only a daddy could perform that marriage ceremony beautifully even though he had tears running down his face the entire time.
Only a daddy would show great interest in a photo series of the development of a fetus, and act just as excited as you when you point to something no longer than the tip of your pinky finger and say, “This is about how big my baby is right now!”
Only a daddy would hold your hand and whisper, “Don’t you see that angel sitting by the bed, waiting for the right moment to take your mother to Heaven?”
Only a daddy would bring you a “how-to home-school” book the day after your mom’s funeral because he overheard you saying you don’t know if you can home-school your kids without her help.
Only a daddy would still buy you stuffed animals for Easter when you are all grown up and have children of your own.
Only my daddy can lay claim on the part of my heart that overflows with love and joy every time I think of him.
Happy Father’s Day to all fathers, but especially those who take time to be Daddy!
Ginger is an author, speaker and mother of five. Find her on Facebook (Ginger Truitt-Author) and Twitter (@GingerTruitt). Or contact her at ginger@@gingertruitt.com.