One of the purest forms of love has to be the love of a little girl for her Dad. Today is my Dad’s birthday. Although I’m no longer little, he is still the hero of my heart.
As I celebrate my Dad today, I’m remembering a scene we lived out many times. I’d walk into the living room to find him stretched out on our gold velvet sofa, a bowl of freshly popped popcorn in his lap, intently watching football – a manly sport for a manly kind of guy. Then came the question there is no telling how many times I asked during my growing up years, “Who are we for Dad?” Next, I’d sit down and cheer for the team Dad said we were routing for. I don’t remember it ever occurring to me to cheer for the other team. One thing was for certain: I was for Dad’s team.
When I became a Junior High cheerleader, Dad sat me down and painstakingly coached me at home on the game of football. He flattened out a newspaper on the kitchen counter, using it as a chalkboard to diagram the lineup of the team, making sure I knew the roles of each and every player. I can still see those Xs and Os now. This was one cheerleader who would never yell “D-E-F-E-N-S-E” when her team had the ball!
Over the years Dad taught me about a lot more than football. He ran beside me and held on to the handlebars as I wobbled up and down our driveway learning to ride a bike. He sat next to me and taught me how to drive a car. Like the ex-Marine he is, he showed me where the pressure points were on a person and how to defend myself. He helped me buy my first car, made me apologize to my Mom when I hurt her feelings, celebrated the good grades I made, and somehow made me believe I could be anything I wanted to be.
Yes, a lot of years have passed since these memories. These days, I sit beside Dad during his chemo treatments and am more grateful for his love and character than ever before. But one thing remains the same: Whose team am I for? Forever and always, I am for my Dad.
What’s a favorite memory you have of growing up in your house? Share it, please!