Sunday, June 19, 2011

For My Dad on Father's Day

(Because Father's Day is today. And because my Father's Day card won't get to you until Tuesday. And because my children have made it a personal quest to make sure I never hold a conversation on the phone).

When I was in middle school, we were having some kind of open house for the school. I was a yearbook editor, and I was there helping to sell copies of the yearbook. Our teacher brought us some caffeinated sodas and, not wanting to seem completely un-cool, I took one and drank it.

A little while later my dad walked by and watched me drink that soda.

A soda that he, and I, knew I should not be drinking.

When we got home that night, after my siblings had gone to bed, I sat with my Mom and Dad, and he said, "Do you want to tell Mom what you did tonight?"

I lied.

And I lied.

I felt horrible about drinking that soda, and I couldn't admit it. I lied and said that I was just pretending to drink it. Over and over again.

My dad didn't yell at me. He didn't try and catch me in my (completely obvious) lie. He didn't ground me. He just looked at me with the most disappointed look on his face, and said, "Okay. If that's what you say happened."

And then I went to bed.


That look on his face that night has stayed with me my entire life.

I never wanted to see my dad look at me that way again.

Not that I was (or am) perfect. I was a huge brat throughout high school. I talked back. I was disrespectful. We fought plenty of times. I'm sure I lied a time (or two).

But, I have tried hard to not do anything to make him look that way at me again.


It's funny that of all of the consequences, lectures, groundings, and "corner time" I'm sure that I received growing up when I made bad choices, that that's the only one I really remember clearly.

I've wondered why. Why that moment was the one that stuck with me.

I think it's because of who I disappointed.

My dad would do anything for me. He worked several jobs so that I could have dance lessons, play the flute, and so that my mom could stay home with us. He spent hours trying to help me with my homework. He went on field trips with me, even after working all night. He would drive me up to the school in the winter, so I wouldn't have to walk as far. He made me the most beautiful jewelry box and doll house a girl could ever want. He coached my t-ball team. He went to my performances, drove me to mutual, and helped me pack for Girls Camp. He taught me how to dance. He would sit with me when I had a hard time sleeping at night. He gave me priesthood blessings, spent hours in teaching us about the scriptures and prayer, and tried so hard to lead by example.

He would do anything in the world for me.

He is my hero.

And I disappointed my hero that day.


I love you, Dad. Happy Father's Day. Thank you for everything that you did for me. Thank you for raising me well. Thank you for being a wonderful Papa to my kids.

Most of all, thank you for being disappointed in me that day.

It has helped make me who I am today.

I hope I haven't disappointed you (too much) since.

And I'm very sorry about lying about drinking that Coke.

1 comment:

Grammy Suzzy said...

Note to self: Never ever "blog-drop" and hope to see without tears. You know, I had TOTALLY no memory of the incident...I truly know just how Heavenly Father forgives and truly "remembers them no more". And you know, watching the mother of our grandchildren work her tail off, having an immaculate house, a nutritious lovely party meal, an amazingly creative and awesome party, an extraordinary and happy home, three gorgeous, brilliant, healthy and happy children, and teaching a sharing time in Primary last week that you felt the Spirit so strongly during...well, my dear, that all was evidence that you, who only had a couple of moments of rebellion, have grown into a shining, wonderful woman, admired by all...mostly though, by those of us who love you so very, very much. Daddy loved the made his awesome day even better!!! Love to you!