L is for Let's Talk About Dad

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there! In particular I want to talk today about my dad - the one and only, Dolla Bill.

**Full disclosure, this blog is raw and filled with emotion.**

Dad and I never had one of those daddy-daughter relationships. I NEVER called him Daddy (except maybe when I was 2 or 3...Shell can you confirm that?), I was never his "little princess" or "little pumpkin." I don't remember bedtime stories or good night kisses, or sitting on his lap watching movies. I was a mama's girl, but I never wanted to disappoint my dad. I didn't want to let him down. EVER.

He wasn't like my best friend Caroline's dad, where after every game he would walk up to her and give her a big hug and kiss and say "Way to go, Carrie!" My dad was tough...my biggest critic in the loudest of ways, however, he was my biggest supporter in the quietest of ways.

I was the son he never had. It was tough love with my dad. REALLY tough love.

He was the biggest critic in the loudest of ways:

  • Like the time I had a goal kick, kicked it to the other team and at the top of his lungs he yelled "Amanda, are you color blind?!" Every player, parent and referee laughed their asses off that day. I sucked back tears. 
  • There were countless games where we sat in silence on hour long car rides home from games because he ripped me a new asshole after a 1-0 loss. (Mind you, I could have made 22 saves on 23 shots and our team couldn't put a ball in the back of the net, but sometimes it managed to be MY fault.) It got nasty in the car and Shelley usually had to be the mediator. 
  • And who can forget the game where he yelled at me on the field to "Get your head out of your ass and start playing." Pretty sure the opposite goalkeeper heard that line.

But here is where he was the biggest supporter in the quietest of ways:

  • He never missed a practice. Whether I was training in Telford, Upper Providence or Council Rock High School, he got me there, he stayed there and was always the sounding board on the way home.
  • He was at every game, following me from one end of the field all the way to the other end of the field to shadow me and my every move each and every game. He made every soccer match, softball game, field hockey playoff match, YOU NAME IT. He was always there and you could never miss him on the sideline. Camera in hand, snapping away shots of his girl. 
  • This is TMI but the day I got my period my team was in the finals for a state cup championship. Following my every move from goal to goal, he asked me about 30 times during the game "hey, you alright? you feel alright??" (Yes, Dad, I'm not dying! hahaha)
  • He was the first one to verbally stand up for us girl when a Jersey douche bag parent started to run their mouths about us. No wonder I have such a great potty mouth.
  • And probably my most favorite memory with my dad is after every big win/game I played amazing, he would come up to me after the game, take his hand, cup it around the back of my neck with a gentle squeeze and tell me in my ear "you played amazing out there, man."
Our affection has always been small, but I know when my dad is proud of me. You can tell a lot about someones eyes and in his eyes, I know I have made him proud throughout all these years. 

While our love may have been tough love, that tough love is what has made me the strong, independent and driven woman I am today. Him challenging me has made me challenge myself. I  don't think I would be where I am today without him. I thank you for that, Dad.

My dad is one of the funniest people I know and I credit much of my humor because of him. My dad has a short fuze, another trait I have so greatly inherited. He curses like a sailor, as do I. He takes no shit from nobody and has taught me that I shouldn't either. He is one of the biggest assholes around but that's what makes him him. He has always worked his ass off to provide for his family and that is something that has never gone unnoticed even since I was a little girl. He is rude and ruthless at times, but at the end of the day, he's MY dad and he will always be on MY side...having my back for the rest of our days.  

Dad, you're an asshole. But you're MY asshole.

I love you.
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