and kids

and kids

Saturday, June 20, 2015

My Daddy

I think, if you have a good Daddy, you probably love them as a little girl, but you don't fully appreciate them until you are older.
It isn't until you understand the stress of being a parent that you really understand all the pressure your father was under.  And yet, my Daddy, was always available, always loving, and was always a shoulder to cry on.

It depends on what part of life you know my Daddy from and that may determine your view of him.  As a younger man, he was a bit more intense than he is now in his grandfather role.  He may have been asked to leave soccer games by refs.  He may have played 'too hard' on the church basketball court.  And some would say (maybe even mom at times?) he may have been too hard on us kids?  But, I don't think so.  He was always there for us.  Always a comforter when needed.  Always tough love when needed. That is the Daddy I love!
As a little girl, I was more of a Mommy's girl.  My sister's were the ones that turned to Dad more. As I entered Middle School, I definitely was attached more to my brothers and had a lot more guy friends. Throughout high school, I didn't turn to Mom or Dad.  I don't think I turned to anyone a lot, because I didn't need anyone - or so I thought?  But, I was becoming a Daddy's girl.  I am not sure how my parents view my high school days, but I do know, if I needed to, I could always go to my Daddy, cry on his shoulder and he would be happy to hug me and pray with me.  And I knew, his heart broke, when my heart broke. I cherish those memories of those prayers.

When Jason and I started dating, Dad knew Jason a little because he was Philip's roommate.  Our dating relationship developed from me hanging out with Philip a lot to the four of us going out with Philip and Sarah to the two of us hanging out by ourselves a lot.  I was in college, but decided to live at home my sophomore year.  I got home late one night and Dad was waiting up for me (which had never happened to me before).  He simple said "What are you doing?" - meaning staying out late each night.  I gave the typical Gretchen-no-good-answer-shoulder-shrug.  Dad said, "Are you going to marry this guy?"  And I said "I hope so".  And Dad went to bed.

That was it.  He was just checking in.  No bullying of rules.  Just love and concern.  Not long after, I found out later, he told Jason - marry her or move on. :)
I never told Dad this, but when I got married, I said to Jason on more than one occasion, how I missed my breakfast time with my Daddy.  That was one of "our things" - we were the two morning people in the house and we ate breakfast together and watch Sports Center.  As newlyweds, we couldn't afford cable, so I couldn't watch Sports Center and my husband was neither a morning person nor a breakfast eater.

Many believe my Daddy to be stoic and harsh, which he is when he needs to be, but he really is a softie.  And, he loves with ALL HIS HEART.  There is no middle ground with him.  And, I love him with all my heart.
I am thankful for all the things he has taught me.  I am thankful he has taught me to love the Lord.  I am thankful he has taught me how a marriage should look.  I am thankful he gave me the desire to respect men.  I am thankful he has taught me how to apologize to my children when I am wrong.  I am thankful he has taught me to love sports.  I am thankful he taught me that family comes before work and friends.  I am forever grateful he taught me how to pray.

I am also thankful my Daddy is a great Papa!  My kids love him dearly and they've never understood the jokes about the fear of his eyes.  And each of them have been baptized by their Papa, how awesome is that?
We are also very fortunate to live on the same street - one child rides his bike down to challenge Papa to game a chess every chance he gets, and Papa usually plays.
Here are some of my favorite photos of Papa and the Brown kiddos:

Of course, he loves to read to them
He sometimes gets on the floor with them
He loves the babies (briefly)

 And, they love him so much they've sat thru a few HOT baseball games with him 
 Mollee Moo loves her Papa

Papa and Tavis

And, this is one of my favorite.  We lived with Mom and Dad about four months, with three kids.  Papa would feed Tavis Cheerios each morning.  Tavis could feed himself, but, it tasted better if Papa did it.  To this day, Cheerios is still known as "Papa Cereal" in our house.
Papa and Daegan

 And Capps!

 And Haynes, aka Mac
And this may go down as my favorite picture ever!  Ever!

Papa and Mac walking to a baseball game
I am also blessed and thankful for the relationship my Daddy and the Hubs have developed.  I know sometimes a Son and Father-in-law have a strained relationship, but I got lucky.  These two clicked before we were even engaged.  I think it was one reason dad said "marry her or move on", dad was getting attached too.  
Jason and Dad are alike in many ways, which is a family joke, but honestly, they are very different in many ways too.  And those differences compliment each other and challenge each other nicely.  I think it has helped Dad mellow out and I think it has helped Jase grow into the incredible dad and husband that he is today.  I think each of them views the other as more than just family, but as a dear friend too.
So...Daddy, I love you!  Jason loves you (even if he doesn't say it).  Mollee loves you!  Tavis loves you!  Daegan loves you!  Capps loves you!  Haynes loves you!

To the best Papa we know!  Happy Father's Day!!!

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