Well – Its Father’s Day. My son has an amazing stepdad, and I was raised an inspirational father. I’d like to take a moment to tell you about them.
I know those of you who have known me for a while can tell how lucky LilZoot is to have such a fantastic Step dad. He has risen to the challenge of being a daily father figure to a child who goes to see his biological father every other weekend.. He stepped up to the plate on day one – when LilZoot was going through his “Barbie Doll Phase” (don’t ask). He sat down with LilZ and watching episode upon episode of Sailor Moon. He even played Power Rangers with LilZoot, playing the role of whatever Ranger LilZoot picked him to play. And this was all long before we decided to get married. The most amazing thing he has done as a Step Dad was force a meeting with LilZoot’s Dad. He approached him and told him that he wanted LilZoot to see they could be together and he didn’t have to worry about whether or not the two of them got along. LilZ’s Dad has made it very clear to him that he has no interest in ever being around MrZoot again, while MrZoot does the opposite. He asks LilZoot about his Dad, what did they do together on their weekend, and did they have fun. He goes above and beyond in showing LilZoot that he wants to know about his Dad. To me? That is the most important thing he can do for LilZoot, and it’s a gift I hope he will one day truly appreciate. I hope more than anything, we can succeed in have a child together so that MrZoot can spread the love out to his own child. He is a fantastic step dad, and I have no doubt he will be an inspirational father.
My father is the most amazing guy in the world. When he and my mom split way back when, they both decided that my bro and I would live with my Dad. This put my Dad raising my brother and I all by himself. I am a Daddy’s girl through and through. Everyone close to me knows how much I admire and respect and love my Dad. My dad grew up the youngest of Nine (Ten?) kids, milking cows in the mornings and baling hay in the afternoons. Then, he did his two years in the military, and then went off to college. He took a break, rode a motorcycle for a while, then went back. He got his degree, became and engineer and then became a father to me, 28 years ago. He has this knowledge base, this intelligence, that is real. It’s based on a perfect combination of books, real world experience, and human knowledge.
When I told my Dad I was pregnant at 18, I know he was hurting for me. But I don’t think he ever doubted my ability to be a good mom, he was much more concerned about me getting married to someone I had only known for a few months. He gave me many outs, but the stubborn person I was, I ignored his advice and got married. Well when I called him four years later to tell him my ex and I were splitting? He was nothing but supportive. He has stood by my side through every major pitfall, ever-joyous occasion, and even more difficult: every annoying giggle fit. He loved everything about being a dad. He sat mesmerized through every story I felt the need to tell him about. He came to as many sporting events and school functions as possible growing up. He wanted to live what we were living, which is how I try to be as a mom. I felt pure joy on my wedding day as he and LilZoot escorted me down to marry MrZoot this past October. Of course, I actually walked down the aisle without them for a moment, but we’ll save that story for another day.
One of my favorite Dad times, occurred my senior year in high school. My class had an over night retreat out of town on the same night of a citywide rally one of my volunteer groups was having. Several of us girls in my class needed to be at that rally. We had worked on a routine and we had put a lot of time and energy into it. My Dad, volunteered to drive out to the retreat, pick up 6 of the giggliest teenagers, drive them to a rally full of the city’s giggliest girls, the put us -wired and hyper- back in the car and drove us back to the retreat. Not only did he do that entire ALONE but he also enjoyed it.
Oh and the story that tells the most about how cool I think my Dad is? The same year, my senior year, my AP Biology Class was taking a field trip to the Chattanooga Aquarium along with several freshmen biology classes. When my teacher indicated a need for volunteers, I volunteered my Dad. I knew he would love to do it and I wanted him too. I remember he stressed out at first, trying to keep track of all the kids in his group, but of course, once the kids were let loose, all was lost. But he had fun and I was glad he was able to do it.
Okay One more Daddy Zoot story. This is the last one, I promise.
My Dad took my brother and I on a cross-country camping trip the summer after my freshman year in high school. We hid the Badlands, the Tetons, Yellowstone, Yosemite, the Grand Canyon and a bunch of other places in between. It was the most amazing trip. I think I may have whined a bunch (that’s a boat-load of camping), but I have always been the most proud of that experience. I still talk about it to this day, and hope, more than anything, to be able to take LilZoot on the same trip some day.
Except we’ll skip the Corn Palace. That was a little much, sorry Dad.
Happy Father’s Day to two of my favorite men in the world. And Dad – keep sending me postcards and comic strips, and I’ll keep calling you and babbling about the life I live, okay? Love you!