My adolescent years have constituted an unsteady, yet instrumental epoch in my life characterized by hormonal imbalances, insecurities, and petty acts of rebellion. As my eighteenth birthday swiftly approaches and this life chapter of self-discovery comes to an end, I prepare to embark on a fresh journey of independence and goal actualization. Although I have undergone countless changes and impacting experiences throughout my nominal years of existence, one thing has remained consistent in my life: the unbreakable bond between my Dad and me.
From the moment I was born, I have been Daddy’s little girl. My father has been there for me through the blissful moments, like the time I took my first steps, or when I finally learned how to ride my “big kid” bicycle without training wheels, or when I got accepted into universities. My Dad has also been by my side during frightening situations, such as when I would have bad dreams and he would lay with me in my bed and comfort me until I went back to sleep. Whenever a medical episode would arise, my dad would be the one to accompany me to the dreaded doctor’s office and calm me down; from the time I had to have the cast on my arm removed in fifth grade to the time I had to get stitches on my chin in twelfth grade.
Yes, I have complained about the constant annoyances of my father and his failure to understand that my priorities and ideologies do not necessarily mirror his. Of course I have gotten into arguments with the man when he would set a much too early curfew for the Saturday night outings. And boy has my father reprimanded me when I have stepped out of line or acted out of character. I have been the cause of numerous mishaps during my lifetime, dating back to boo-boos that involved devising a great escape plan from after-school care during fourth grade, to mistakes that were immature and irresponsible during my teenage years. Nevertheless, my father has been there as usual, to knock some sense into me and make my life impossible by grounding me for what seems like an eternity; to forgive me and allow me to grow as an individual. Even when I have disappointed, hurt, or let down my father, he never stopped loving me, nor did he fail to see the true goodness that I possess.
During one life-altering episode that involved me acting inappropriately and my father finding out, I was forced to endure the customary beating from the verbal blows of disapproval and disgust. Later that same night, I awoke in my bed and turned to discover that my father was ever so gently lying next to me, making sure that I was safe, loving me unconditionally.
Now as my eighteenth birthday approaches and I anticipate my awaited leap toward independence, my father is proud of all that I have accomplished throughout my life and how much I have grown. I as embark on this challenging, yet exciting odyssey involving college and choices that will affect the course of the remainder of my life , I will be geographically distanced from my father for the first time. My Dad has proudly been a part of virtually all of my life experiences, and now a time has come when he will have to take a step back and watch me make it on my own. At times it will probably be frightening for me, but I believe that if I ever have trouble sleeping at night, my Dad will soon be by my side to make everything better. I will always be Daddy’s little girl, this I believe.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.