Sunday, June 15, 2008

Daddy's Girl

My dad is the best dad. When I was little my family went to an amusement park every summer. My dad would ride the best roller coasters with me and all the other "scary" rides. My favorite was the Orient Express. It was a big red coaster with this awesome drop off and a bunch of upside down loops. Crazy good. My older sister was too chicken to ride it (until she was much older) and my younger sister was too short (you had to meet a height requirement) so for years it was just me and my dad screaming our fool heads off while everyone else waited for us.

My dad used to give away "life size" stuffed animals to kids in his office. They would have a drawing every couple of months. My favorite was this coyote, Cyrano. Everytime we went to his office we would run to see what the latest stuffed toy was. (And we loved the stickers too, of course!) One day my dad came home with a big stuffed coyote in his arms- just for me!

Last year when I competed in my first Ironman race I asked my dad if he would come watch. I was a little nervous and wanted some friendly faces in the crowd to cheer me on. Not only did he fly to Arizona for the race... he volunteered on the bike course for 8 hours so that I got to see him, standing in the middle of the intersection at the turn around (his job was pointing the bikers in the right direction) on all 3 loops of the bike. He and my mom hollered for me and snapped pictures as I rode by smiling and waving frantically. He was waiting at the finish line when I came through right on schedule.

It has become the joke in our family that I am my dad's favorite. I think it's because he made me feel special and I believed that I was his favorite. In reality, I'm sure he loves each of us equally, but that hasn't stopped me from bragging to my sisters about my status.

Now that I'm older, and sadly haven't been to an amuesment park since I graduated from college, I like to cook with my dad. It's always fun to share a meal with him because he appreciates great food like I do. When we go to a really great restaurant he will ask the chef to 'surprise him' with a creation of the chef's choosing. It never fails that he ends up with the best meal on the table. For his birthday, I planned a trip to Napa Valley where he and I will spend 2 days in a weekend cooking class. I am so looking forward to it!

Today, my dad is on an Alaskan cruise with my mom and a bunch of their friends. I sent him a Happy Father's Day text which I'm hoping he will get. You never know what kind of cell service there is in the middle of the ocean. I'm sure they are having a fabulous time. I hope he knows I'm thinking of him and how much I love him.

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