Who is Sue and what is Suelandia?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Daddy's Girl

Hey people.  I have to say, I know a couple people who have really horrible growing-up stories where one or both parents were a total nightmare, but of the women I know who had fairly normal childhoods, I don't know too many that don't consider themselves to be, on some level-- Daddy girls.

(Yes- I know.  I was adorable.  It's harder than you would expect to peak at age five.)

Here dad is, trying to convince me water is fun.  What is ironic about this is my dad is, and always has been, terrified of water.  To this day he won't get in even up to his knees, but there he is, as submerged as I'd ever in my life see him, just this one time, wanting me to not be afraid-- to see the water as a fun place to be.

And it worked.  I have no memory of ever not loving to be in the water.  If there was a lake, pool, or creek around-- I wanted to be in it!

My parents were into it.  They really wanted kids bad.  They waited a few years to do fun couple-y stuff, but they wanted kids, and took me a lot of places.  I'm pretty sure outdoorsy stuff was pushed by dad.  He was from out west, a country kid who grew up in North Dakota & Montana.  Outside has always been my favorite place.

He played with me, and of course I LOVED this.  Sure mom did the heavy lifting, as usual-- there all day with me, and dad got to sweep in and be the novelty whenever he wasn't at work etc.  Someone is taking all these pic too, but dad was into it.  He told me he never wished I had been a boy.  He wanted girls.  He figured it got him out of a lot of T-ball etc that he wasn't into anyway.

I pretty much came out of the womb laughing, but humor was greatly encouraged by dad.  That programmed me for life.  If a guy wasn't funny he didn't have a shot in hell with me.

I know my mom is probably looking at all this going-- "I'm sure!  I played with her ALL THE TIME!" and she did, but this is the Father's day post.  The cool old pics of how hot my mom was will have to wait for another post. 

(Incidentally-- see those geisha sculptures in the background?  Mom used to sleep with one next to her bed when he was out of town, to clobber burglars with.)

So here's my dad today.  He's 78.  On his last birthday he skied like, 20 laps at Afton with Dan.  Today our relationship is kind of like old friends, but more familiar.  We give each other crap whenever possible, and have had lots of arguments about his very wrong and bad republican-ness.  (Although, he did actually vote in a surprising manner in the last election, but he'd want his vote kept private I'm sure.)

Today he wanted to go to Como Zoo (same place we went for my birthday) to check out the new polar bear habitat.  He's very into animals, especially polar bears.

He was also into taking pictures of everything.  In the first shot by the flowers he focused on the "Enchanted Garden" sign.  I had said, "Look enchanted."  Him-- ~funny face~.

At one point he looked over his shoulder and goes, "I'm documenting everything today."  I grinned and said, "Yeah, me too."  He had no idea I was taking pictures of him all day.

We had lunch at a favorite spot of his.  He insisted I taste his shake, made with chocolate ice cream-- POSITIVE I'd agree it was far superior to my "regular" chocolate one.  I now am amused by how important it is at times, for him to be right.  It's one of those "cautionary tale" deals that if you watch your parents carefully enough you clue-in on.

(Luckily there are no young snots observing and critiquing all my behavior.)

We both enjoyed lunch.  His burger looked good.  Sometimes I wish I had a time machine and could go back to eating disgusting things like Taco John's taco-burritos and DQ chili dogs and not care.

Later we went and looked at old cars cruising the area.  There is a national car show in town.  We parked in the shade on this frontage road-- (see the no parking anytime sign in the background?  Yeah, that's how badass we were.  Outlaw dad & daughter.)

He took pics of a bunch of the cars, then we sat in the car and he instructed me to take pics with his camera.  He likes showing me stuff, even giving me driving directions to well known local spots.  We had fun trying to get pics framed up just right as the cars drove by in traffic.

Lots of my friend's dads aren't around this year.  Actually, more are not around than are.  I felt it was important to tell him how I felt.  The cards were all lame, and typical of me-- I'd forgotten the dumb one I finally did pick out at home, so I just told him.

I told him he was one of the very few people in the world I always feel completely relaxed around, and like I can totally be myself, and how much I love that.  I also told him I love spending time with him, and always look forward to seeing him and talking to him.

I felt kind of sappy, but was glad I was lucky enough to have the chance to tell him this when we are both still walking around and having a good time together.

When I think of how I've always felt about myself, and men etc, I have to give my dad credit.  Sure I've suffered from the same "I'm fat and ugly" warped self-image stuff most women do at one time or another.  Heck, the world, full of airbrushed models etc will do that to you-- but how I felt about the me inside has always been pretty good.

I felt liked, genuinely liked, and loved, just for being the me I was.  I was always made to feel smart, and funny, and like I was someone worthwhile.  It made me super picky about guys, but that worked out okay.  I'd say judging by what we typically expect of fathers, he did a pretty good job.


Lynn Fisher said...

what an awesome Dad Sue...~sniff~ I can't talk...

Linda G. said...

You have a wonderful dad, and you are smart enough to appreciate him. Win-win!

My dad died when I was 12, so I never got to know him as an adult. I'd like to think, had he lived, we'd have a relationship like the one you and your dad have. :)

pseudosu said...

Lynn, Linda-
Thanks. Yes, I know I'm very lucky not only to have him, but to have the friendship we do as well. This post doesn't even scratch the surface of all he's taught me over the years, and all the fun we've had together, many times involving inappropriate, low-brow humor. *Ahh dad...*

Kim Smith said...

I love the idea of documenting your visits. I wish I would have done that yesterday. In the future, I will. Thanks for sharing.

Maery Rose said...

I'm not sure, but in my world anyway, your Dad is pretty rare.

JKB said...

Sue, I think I feel overcome by


baby talk when I see your picture



pseudosu said...

Yes, It's nice to have pics to look at down the road, and with digital there's really no reason not to.

I know hon, but trust me, they're out there. I've been incredibly lucky with all the good eggs in my life, but they're out there.

Yes I know. ~hee~ ~Attempts to gigge adorably~ ~fails~ See? I used up almost ALL my keyootness in early childhood though!

Susan Adrian said...


Very lucky indeed, both of you. :)
And I love the pic of Pipestone Pass!

Anonymous said...

I love this post so much.

My Dad and I get along very well. He was my baseball, and soccer coach, played 1 on 1 basketball all the time with me, and got me hooked on baseball cards and comic books. He's a great man.

Linda Thiltgen said...

This is a great post. I love all the old pics. What a treasure your relationship is....and how good of you to be able to put it into words. Here's to life!

courtney said...

This made me cry. What a beautiful post. I love how your dad braved the water so you wouldn't be afraid of it. That's fantastic. Thanks for sharing this, Sue. :)

pseudosu said...

Yeah Montana!

Never doubt your influence, from a very young age.

Linda T-
Thanks. :) Amen to that sistah.

Thanks bb. And thanks for updating my link. :)

irishk said...

Wow, what a lucky girl/woman you are and what a lucky dad to have a child so eloquently give thanks and appreciation while they are alive to receive it. My dad is 96 and still drives all over the US and jumps around like a squirrel. I wouldn't trade my time with him for anything. I carry him with me at all times.