“I am a princess. All girls are, even if they live in tiny, old attics. Even if they dress in rags, even if they aren’t pretty, or smart, or young. They’re still princesses. All of us. Didn’t your father ever tell you that? Didn’t he?”-The Little PrincessPaul taught me that I am princess. When I was younger we would go on daddy-daughter dates every so often, maybe once or twice a month. They weren't anything big or fancy, but he would pay for my Sonic drink and still opens the car door for me when he comes to pick me up at school, subconsciously instilling expectations for future boyfriends (so far most have sucked in comparison). He even let me drive his midlife crisis car (a Mercedes convertible SLK? SRK? it's tiny and shiny) a few times in Beaumont; in fact, I think it's about time for another joyride soon...
He and I are a lot alike, which has led to some volatile disagreements over the years. We both love to make people laugh, but hate to be wrong. We both used to be beasts at running (okay, he still is), but are also adept at an unnatural quickness to anger. He dances around the kitchen to 80's music (whilst wearing orange pants, of course) while I prefer to keep my dance parties private, serenaded by Taylor Swift in my room when the house is deserted.
He patiently played Barbies and dollhouse with me as I grew up, dutifully changing their outfits as the season required, and had perfect attendance in Miss Johnson's schoolhouse in the attic. The school sessions typically ended with a redfaced and screaming Miss Johnson unsuccessfully preventing Jeffrey "Downtown" Brown from performing a somersault in the midst of fractions. Needless to say, school was generally instantaneously dismissed.
He was my coach in cross country and track during middle school and freshman year. The dynamic was sometimes weird, but he treated me like any other of his athletes, pushing me to reach goals he knew I was capable of and rewarding me with recognition, despite rumors of favoritism amongst the team. I know he wouldn't have gifted me with those plaques unless he thought I was deserving.
He forces me to grow up when I'm not acting like an adult. He encourages me to never limit myself. He texts me during church, commenting on the ripped state of my jeans ("we can get you new jeans today if you'd like!"..."thanks dad, but these are new"...). He texts me 10 minutes after I've left the house, declaring that he misses me already. He sent me flowers for Valentine's Day. When he was younger and I was lighter he used to swoop me up into the air above his head in the fetal position, stating "I lift you up unto the Lord!" It was silly and I would always laugh and struggle to get away, but I know he was serious. And I know he still does that, just not in the physical way. Thanks, Dad, for teaching me how to be A Very Lucky Princess.
|Junion Year Homecoming Court. Look at us matching!|
|Senior Year Prom|
|May 2010, Graduation.|
|Mizzou Game; and that's why I sometimes can't take him seriously|