My dad and I don't always get along. Honestly, since my age hit double digits, we spend more time arguing than any daughter would ever like to admit. However, no matter what we say or how much we yell and disagree, I will never question whether my dad cares. Ironically,the only reason we argue is because he cares and is desperate to protect me from life's failures and pain.
As I keep wishing for snow this year, I cannot help but to remember the snowstorm that hit when I was visiting my dad in Fredericksburg, VA. It wasn't even Fredericksburg, it was just outside that area. About 18 years ago, there was this crazy snowstorm that dumped feet, not inches on the area. I had happened to be visiting my dad for that weekend when it hit. Altogether, we weren't the prepared. I remember my dad worrying about having enough food in the house and deciding during the storm, we have to get food to eat from the Food Lion about a half mile away. It was snowing really hard and it was so deep, he couldn't back his small truck out.
Finally, my father comes to the conclusion that he's got to walk to the store in the snow. I want to go with him, even though he seems reluctant about that. (Look, I really like snow) For whatever reason, I'm allowed to come to the store with my dad. I remember walking for what seemed like forever, my short little legs struggling to match my dad's brisk pace. We picked up our usual wheat bread, cheddar cheese, spinach, and macaroni before heading back to the house. It felt like we were on an adventure.
That weekend, like many with my dad, we read CS Lewis books. We no doubt talked about random things and used our brains to creatively have fun. My dad probably made steamed spinach that we both ate and enjoyed. Perhaps we did watch a bit of television. I'm sure I got absorbed in reading by myself as I always would. Or watching the discovery channel. (I love documentaries!)
Unlike other weekends, I remember this one distinctively. Maybe because of the snow. I just know that whenever I feel like I couldn't be madder at my dad, I go back to this weekend and I suddenly feel love and compassion for him.
Sometimes when I think of how many dads are these days, I forget that mine is pretty special. He's there for one, unlike a big chunk of missing dads in this country. He'll risk me giving the silent treatment to him or not talking to him just to keep pushing me to succeed. Sometimes the pushing is irritating. Until I meet people who weren't "pushed" to meet expectations.
Today, sadly not everyday, I am appreciative of my dad.