PARENTING FROM THE VIEW OF TEENAGER

Daddy’s Girl

I remember growing up and watching the little things that my dad would do. Some things have gone away, but others… not so much. He still calls me, “Lala”. He’s always called me that. My dad does so many things that go unnoticed and unappreciated, but he does then anyway. I remember how every Saturday, my dad would entertain my brothers and me so that my mom could sleep in. He always brought her coffee to her in the morning, until Connor decided to take over the task during his senior year in high school. But my dad didn’t stop there. Since Connor had taken over bringing my mom coffee, my dad decided that he would wake up even earlier to bring coffee to Connor.
My dad does funny things. For example: it seems like whenever there is food in the kitchen, my dad MUST stick it in the oven “to keep it warm”. Now, why do I think that this is funny? Because he ALWAYS does it. It doesn’t matter if we are planning to throw it away, the food must be serve time in the oven. It’s always sweet, though, because dad does it so that our food doesn’t get cold. This is just one of the small and overlooked acts of kindness that my dad does for us. Another example: my dad has always prayed with us before bed. I have always admired and appreciated that about him. His prayers have had little variation over the years, which has turned his prayers into something like a spoken lullaby, but still the words are just as powerful. He has always opened his prayers by thanking God for us, and tells God how much he loves us. He prays that we will be “stepping stones” and never “stumbling blocks”; and that we will be “a light in a lost and dying world.” My favorite part of the prayer was the “hedge of protection” that he prayed would protect us. We would giggle because of how silly it sounded, but now I understand what it means and I’m so thankful for it.

Another amazing thing about dad is his quiet time routine. Dad has always has a quiet time every morning. He reads his devotion, prays, and writes his devotional blog. This Christmas, he finished his 365 day devotional blog, and mom had it turned into a book. Dad did those devotionals so that it would eventually be a devotional for my brother’s and me. HE WROTE US A DEVOTIONAL… My devotion book that dad wrote is my most prized possession, and I use it on a regular basis. He is very diligent with his quiet time, to the point where if he skips a quiet time, it puts him in a bad mood.

Dad has always treated mom like a princess. My parents’ marriage is unlike any I’ve ever seen. Of course, there are struggles, just like in any marriage, but my parents work together regardless of the situation. They have been married for twenty-something years, but mom still gets so excited when dad comes home from work every day. They are always trying to out-serve each other; dad making mom her coffee every morning, mom scratching dad’s head every night until he falls asleep, there are so many little things that they are constantly doing for each other. Mom tells me that dad has never once said anything negative about her appearance. He doesn’t lie and say she looks good if she doesn’t (but, then again, my mom is gorgeous. She always looks good.), instead, he just doesn’t comment about it at all. But then, when he likes how she looks, HE SHOWERS HER WITH COMPLIMENTS. That’s such a good way to go about it, I think. Smart man.

Dad and I have one major thing in common, and that is our attention span (or lack there of). It is a challenge for us because our minds move at 100 mph. So it is VERY common for mom to be saying something to dad, and my dad will get distracted by something else. It’s not that he doesn’t care about what she’s saying, or that he’s trying to be rude, it just happens. I know, I’m the same way. But my mom never gets mad at him. She’ll use her hands as blinders on dad, so that he has nowhere to look but at her. It’s funny to watch that. My parents are always laughing.

I love to watch dad watch mom. You can easily tell that he think’s that she is the cutest thing on earth. He gets this smile when he looks at her that would melt any heart. He loves her so deeply and it shows. I want to be as great of a wife as my mom is, and I want to marry a man who will love me as deeply and treat me a well as dad does with mom.

Dad is such a leader. He’s the rock of our family. My favorite thing about him is his devotion to the Lord. He puts God before everything else, and I truly believe that that is why my family works so well. Dad reads and studies and lives the Bible. I can see the effort he makes to always be an ambassador for Christ. I see it in the way he treats me, my brothers, my mom, and everyone he’s around. I see it in the way he runs his business, and how treats his employees. I think I saw it the clearest in the wake of an awful business fallout when this scum bag business man stabbed my dad in the back. Dad had so much bitterness and hatred towards him, but instead of wishing death on him, or holding on to his hate, he put his own feelings aside prayed for the man everyday. He prayed that God would touch the man’s heart and that he would find salvation. I was mad and I didn’t even know what happened, but my dad just told me to pray that he finds Jesus. It takes a special kind of person to be able to do that.

Dad makes me so proud. I have a difficult time showing affection towards men. Nothing caused it, that’s just how I am. Because of this, it’s hard for me to express to dad how much I love and need him. He doesn’t hear, “I love you” enough, he doesn’t get hugs enough, he doesn’t get thanked enough for everything he does for me and our family. The way I say, “I love you” is by spending quality time with you, but my dad’s love language is acts of service. It’s hard for me to remember how to speak his love language. I adore my dad, but it’s impossible to show him how much. I’m so thankful and proud to be his daughter.

P.S. I love you, daddy.
Love,
Lala

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