Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Father-Daughter Dance (and Life) Lessons


Last week I spent a long weekend at home in Houston with the specific purpose of taking a dance lesson with my dad for our father-daughter dance for the wedding. He chose "My Girl" for our dance because it reminds him of the time we went to see Father of the Bride and were late to the showing and had to sit in the very front row for all 105 minutes of the film. I guess my parents remember it differently than I do, because apparently it was a great memory for them! So, since today is also his birthday, I thought I would tell you a little about him so you can truly appreciate how big this was for him.
My dad grew up in the Midwest, which means he likes things like Star Trek and Subway sandwiches. It also means he had an intense desire to get the hell outta there, and worked his ass off to become a successful business person. Today, he has a high-pressure job in IT and works on average 90-1,409 hours a week. 
When I was growing up, I didn't understand why he had to take work calls on a Saturday or check email on vacation. My sorely underdeveloped brain just figured he loveddddddddddd work! I mean, why wouldn't he? He got to travel to exciting places like Finland,  San Francisco, and New Jersey (I had a thing for diners when I was a kid...so what?)! He had something called an "expense account" and sounded like the boss. Pretty sweet gig, IMO. But of course, his long hours and constant high stakes work environment sometimes wore on my mom and me. He'd miss some of my high school plays (and who could blame him??) and sometimes wasn't able to make it home on weekends if work was especially chaotic. So I went through a long period of not appreciating my dad. I guess I just figured if he wanted to be more involved, he would.
But then, I went off to college--a very expensive college that my parents paid out-of-state tuition for and never made me cover a cent of, btw--and moved to D.C. and started working my own jobs. And then, something clicked one day. I started to understand what made it worth it to my dad to put up with incompetent staff, delayed flights, and shitty hotel room service. It made sense to me why he checked his Blackberry constantly and took calls in the middle of dinner. It was because he wanted to give my mom and me EVERYTHING. He never wanted to have to say "no" or "maybe next time." He was determined to give us whatever life we could have imagined. And I think this dance lesson crystalized my dad's whole being perfectly: do whatever it takes to make my family happy. Even if that means learning to dance.
My dad suffers from "White Man No-Rythmia," but he didn't let that stop him last week. He carefully studied the jitterbug steps the instructor taught him and practiced them over and over, counting out "and 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8" till I told him that usually you only start the count at 5, until we finally ran out of time. He worked just as hard in those 90 minutes as he does for work (which, from my description is obviously a shit ton), just so he could be prepared for our one dance at my wedding, where he will walk me down the aisle and pass me off to be Kyle's problem. I don't tell him often enough, but I really love him and I'm proud to call him my Dad. Even if I will never understand the Subway sandwich thing.

Happy Birthday Dad!

Leave a comment with your birthday wishes for the ol' guy!!

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Best. Birthday. Present. Ever. Made my day! - Your Dad

Gayla said...

Best post ever! Dad loved it, and I love everything about both of you! We are soooo proud of you and the decent human being the spoiled rotten pint-size version of you grew up to be!

M. Flynn said...

This is so wonderful. Happy birthday, Mr. Herald!

jackie said...

So so sweet. Happy birthday Melissa's dad! She's lucky to have you.

Jamie said...

This post and the comments from both your parents warm my heart. Seriously, you guys seem like a great family. Happy Birthday to your dad!

Laura Humphrey said...

I got teary eyed at the end! He sounds like a wonderful father! Happy B-Day Mr. Herald!!! :)

Jenna | je na sais quoi said...

This was so good, it reminds me of what I think my future will kind of be like with James, so thanks for the foreshadowing. I'll come back and reread this someday and remember why I have EVERYTHING!!! Your dad is the greatest and you are the best I love you !!!

Erin @ Currently Coveting said...

Aw this is really cute! As a person who has a much closer relationship with my dad than my mom, it really warmed me up on this Wednesday morning. Presh. Hope all your wedding festivities are fabulous!

xx,
E
Currently Coveting

Anna said...

Awww... I hope he had an awesome bday

KaleiV said...

What a sweet story! I thought it was more Potbelly in the Midwest ; )

Taylor Urban said...

Aww so sweet, it's crazy the things we realize when we grow up! Just wait til you have kids :/

Also my dad and I danced to "my girl" at my wedding too!

ROXTHEFOX said...

Awww this is so sweet and precious! Just beautiful, thanks for sharing with us.

WWW.ROXTHEFOX.COM

Annalilly said...

Darling post!

Bee said...

Just wandered over here from Tartans & Sequins and could not love this post more. Wonderful "eh i'm bored whose this?" click experience, thanks!

dawnpoints said...

oh my goodness, I'm tearing up. So, so sweet. So, so true for us lucky girls with greater-than-we'll-ever-know dads.

Jenn said...

What an amazing tribute to an awesome Dad :)

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(¸.•´ (¸.•`¤... Jennifer
Jenn's Random Scraps

Easyday said...

Great post. And I love the photos!

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