We learn a lot from our family. They teach us where we come from, where we are now and where we can possibly go in the future. They teach us what it means to be right, wrong and that murky shade called in between. They teach us when to be strong and when to be weak, and in the end they teach us more about ourselves than we could ever hope to figure out on our own.
Much to my mother’s occasional chagrin, I am a total Daddy’s Girl. And in my very biased opinion, he’s the best father a daughter could ask for. I’m just the lucky one who got stuck with him. I may fight with him on occasion, like any daughter will, or think he’s completely crazy, but he teaches me something every day that only my dad could.
So happy birthday, Dad. I forgot to buy you a card.
21. Never buy a short-bed pickup truck. You’ll look like a moron trying to haul anything.
20. Have a toolbox ready wherever you go, and understand how to use everything in it. You never know when you’ll have to put together a bed.
19. He’ll complain about the number of stuffed animals you possess, but when you get braces for the first time a stuffed bear will be waiting for you at home.
18. In times of medical emergencies (i.e. broken toes and plastic straw parts up the nose), he’ll make a pretty fine doctor. But whatever you do…DON’T MOVE AND DON’T BREATHE!
17. Yelling never solves anything…but sometimes it sure does make you feel better.
16. Never turn down one of his hugs. Your friends might think it’s lame, but they’re not the ones who will buy you ice cream and let you take out your frustrations on inanimate objects when you’ve had a bad day.
15. Never be afraid to speak your mind, but always be prepared for the consequences.
14. He’ll poke fun at your silly fears, but when you’re faced with a frog, he’ll gladly chase it away for you.
13. There is a difference between an eighth and a sixteenth on a tape measure. It is a very important difference.
12. He’ll attempt to scare off any boys who you introduce to him. Let him, because he’s waiting to approve of the one who doesn’t run away.
11. Dancing with him isn’t limited to your wedding day. You can stand on his toes any time you want, and he’ll gladly twirl you around the living room.
10. You’ll never agree 100 percent of the time, and you’ll argue with each other something fierce. But never walk away mad.
9. Don’t stop dreaming, even if your dream is to join the circus. He’ll be at your first performance with cotton candy and a smile.
8. He’ll use weird metaphors to try and make you understand the ups and downs of life. They might not make sense, but listen anyway. They’ll be helpful sooner or later.
7. You’ll always have a superhero to call when you’re in trouble, even if he doesn’t wear a cape.
6. The best days of your life are the ones where nothing gets accomplished, but you spent too much money and laughed a whole lot.
5. He’ll spend 15 years trying to convince you that Santa is real after you catch him eating the sandwich you left out. Let him. It’ll make you both laugh.
4. Patience is a virtue you’ll need a lot of. He’ll start testing yours right away.
3. He’ll tell you a hundred times if you’re making a mistake, but he’ll let you make it anyway. But when you get knocked down, he’ll be there to help you stand back up.
2. No matter what the rest of the world says or does, he’ll make sure you know how beautiful of a person you are. His opinion is the only one you should hear.
And most important of all:
1. When it feels like the rest of the world is falling down around you, which it inevitably will, you can always go home. No matter what.