Having a Crazy Dad…

Written by Andrea

A dad can mean so many things to a daughter. A good one can make a little girl feel safe and secure and loved. A great one can make a girl feel like a princess, all the while teaching her to be independent and strong.

I have a great dad. I have the best dad. And, yes, my dad could beat up your dad any day of the week.:)At least, that’s what I told all the kids when I was growing up.:)

Because my dad was a professional boxer and also a very “loud advocate” at many high school football games (I know you love that nice description, Dad), most of my friends would be intimidated by my big, loud, crazy-acting dad. He was the one that they saw as being tough and mean and rough. The boys would always tease me that I would never get a date in high school because they would all be too scared of my dad. And, while they joked, many of them were serious. I remember Brad telling me that when we first went out, one of the boys that I had known since elementary school asked him if he knew who my dad was and wondered if he knew what he was getting himself into. Thankfully, Brad was braver than that guy.:)

Maybe it wasn’t that my dad was so loud or big and rough, but because he had a wooden baseball bat that sat beside the door of our house with the words “birth control” carved into it. He began showing it to my friends when I was in about fifth grade, just to get the word out to all of the boys.:)And, yes, for the record, Brad is contemplating his “bat” of choice, too.

Yes… I know… I had a crazy dad. No, he was never diagnosed as really being crazy, but he was always crazy to us… to all of us kids. He was just crazy. But, this kind of crazy was good… it was fun crazy. No, my mom wouldn’t think so in a lot of ways. Looking back, I totally can see why she would be so angry with him from time to time and I laugh that she didn’t shoot him at some point.:)

This is the kind of crazy I’m talking about…

My dad went to a car auction to buy a truck or van for his business when I was in middle school. He came home with a school bus. He actually didn’t make it all the way home with the bus… it had to be towed home. The bus broke down on the way home… the tow bill cost more than the bus.:)It sat in front of our house for years… used from time to time, before it was sold (and yes, he did make money off of it, because of the handicap chair lift).

My dad wore a tie-dye hat with the bill flipped up (think Woody Harrelson in the movie White Men Can’t Jump) for about a year. It was my safety patrol hat that all of the safety patrol kids had to wear when we went on our overnight trip to Washington, D.C. It was ugly… meaning that my dad would LOVE it. He had (and sometimes still has) terrible fashion sense.:)He loved the socks and flip flops look… and can still be caught trying to pull that off, despite our efforts to squash it.

Even while he was so crazy, my dad was a great disciplinarian. He was hard on us. He made us obey. If he gave us “the look” we knew that it was time to straighten up and act right. I don’t remember my dad actually ever spanking us. I don’t even really remember getting into much trouble with him at all… I just remember knowing that I didn’t want him to go past the point of “the look.” He pushed us to work hard. He taught us that if we wanted something, we had to work for it. I will never forget him telling me as a kid that and I quote, “No one said life was fair… if you want something, you have to work hard and earn it.”

He was the type of dad who loved to talk to us. I can remember being in about third grade and wanting to ask questions about everything. We were on a road trip and my dad answered each question so patiently. I can remember it, because I knew at that point in time, life was busy. Life was hectic… and I knew without a doubt that it was special that he was taking the time to explain so much to me. I was a sponge… I took every word to heart and learned so many things from him. Then, I had to repay the favor when I was older… listening to him talk about his business… and rarely being as patient as he was with me. Sorry about that, Dad.:)

I also learned on another road trip that if my dad says he’s going to throw the camera out the window if I keep clicking it, he actually will throw it out the window. I was so shocked when he ripped it out of my hands and tossed it casually out the car window as we drove down the road. I think it went something like this:

Click, click, click, click, click… “Andrea, stop clicking the camera.”

Click, click, click, click, click… “Andrea, PLEASE stop clicking the camera.”

Click, click, click, click, click… “Andrea, if you don’t stop clicking that damn camera, it’s going out the window.”

“No… you won’t throw it out the window, Dad… granny gave it to me.” Click. Click. Click. Cli…

Out the window. I can still feel the shock on my face when I think about it.:)

When most girls turn into teenagers, their dads are the last guys they want to hang out with. I guess I wasn’t like most girls… probably because my dad wasn’t like most dads. Remember? He was crazy! He would drive us miles across the state to go watch a Friday night football game, only to turn right back around and get back home in the middle of the night so that he could coach my brother’s football team early the next morning. I don’t know how many times we would ride together, usually with some of my friends, or my brother, or one of my uncles, or my grandpa, and spend an entire Friday night watching the Bulldogs play. Oh, don’t worry. Our relationship wasn’t perfect. We fought like crazy over the radio. We fought like crazy because he would be running late. We fought like crazy because he’d start talking on his cell phone about business and I’d be writing down information for him or grabbing a hold of my seatbelt, terrified that he wasn’t seeing the light ahead that was turning red. Trust me… there were plenty of “normal” fights between father and daughter.

Today, my dad is one of my best friends. I talk to him almost as much as I talk to my mom and Cilla. We talk about everything under the sun… politics, sports, the kids, business, you name it. We have been through a lot of emotional conversations over the years… some where I was the strong one, helping him through… many where he was the one guiding me, helping me find the best path. All of it started when I was a kid… with those long conversations in the car. I never wonder if anything I do or say is too crazy… my dad will always support me. He showed me throughout life that it is OK to take risks, even when they don’t work out. He showed me that he is always there for me and will always take the time to talk to me about anything, big or small. He showed me that when your little bratty kids try to test the waters, you have to show them who the boss is (yep, Bailey and Jake, you can thank big poppa for your mean mom).:)He showed me all of these things… and so many more.

I am so blessed to have been raised by such a strong, fun, and loving father, as crazy as he might always be. I love everything about you, Dad, and hope and pray that I can be as great of a parent as you have always been to me. Happy Father’s Day… about a week early. Love you.

I do realize that it’s a little early for a post about Father’s Day, but as you will see, we have some special plans to celebrate the dads in our lives, and since our vacation is beginning tomorrow, I wanted to go ahead and share info about my incredible dad… I hope you enjoy what we have in store!

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