While Ariana Grande released a song about being grateful for her exes and what they taught her (love the song, by the way), I got to thinking about what I'm grateful for. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for so many situations in my life that didn't work out because, as Ariana says, they taught me a lot. However, I'm also super grateful to a man in my life who may not always get the praise he deserves - my dad.
I know people in my life who haven't been able to have a good relationship with their biological father, stepfather, adoptive father, etc. But they've had another man in their life who acted as a father figure for them, and I am so thankful for that because dads play such a big role in our lives.
Mamas typically have the image of being the homemakers and having such an emotional connection to their babes and I'm not knocking that at all, but dads are still a force that is very much needed. Even in a girl's life. Especially in a girl's life.
I was born into a family of girls. That means that my dad is surrounded by females. Even our dogs are girls. So there's a lot of estrogen in the house and it can get very hectic, but thankfully dad balances it out. He's not in the midst of battling hormones, so he can tell us when we're acting cray cray and need a breather. And he's right 95% of the time!
I'm grateful to my dad for so many things; so many good times and bad, so many memories, and so many pieces of advice and character he's instilled in me over the past 20 years.
He's taught me how to fish. Granted, I'm not very equipped for it or good at it. Can you even be "good" at fishing if it's mostly about picking good areas to cast out?
He took me to almost all of my dance classes from the time I was in third grade to high school. As long as he wasn't sick, he'd be ready to go before I was! And it wasn't like he just dropped me off and came back when he knew the class would be over.
He'd sit in one of the chairs outside the door reading a magazine or book, glancing up every now and then to watch my progress.
He's taken me on more Barnes & Noble trips than I can count. Before I started driving, it'd become such a tradition that we'd go and I'd get probably a handful of books then, a couple weeks later once I'd finished the batch, he'd take me again. And he never got sick of it! He'd follow me back to the children's section and sit in one of the chairs that were too tiny for my bottom, let alone a 6'5 dad!
But, hands-down, the best lesson he has ever taught me or shown me in my life is how I deserve to be treated by a guy.
My dad is a servant of those he loves. Not in a way that we put ourselves above him, but he's just got such a giving and loving heart that he finds joy in making others joyful. He's selfless and kind and courageous. I know he'd take a bullet for me if he had to, but he's also the kind of guy that'd buy me makeup if I asked him to.
I don't always need someone who puts others first; sometimes taking care of you is the best way to care for others. But I do want and deserve a guy that would take our daughter to dance class or our son to the bookstore to buy video games.
My dad may be outnumbered by a house full of women, but he's still the head of the household and he's still the provider that I'm so grateful to have in my life.
My family isn't super well-off, but we're blessed enough to have never gone without anything we needed, and I'm so thankful to my dad (and mama). They both work their butts off for me and my sister while knowing that what's even more important than money is love, care, and great memories.