My parents split when I was just a little girl. Ten years old to be exact—barely big enough to hook a bra, let alone consider letting a boy unhook one. I wasn’t a boy-crazy prepubescent like most of my female classmates. The only “boys” I really cared about at that time were my dad, my brother Josh, and Johnny Depp. But still, I was on the cusp of noticing boys, and wanting them to notice me. Since I spent my teen years in my mother’s care and custody, I didn’t have to worry about that nerve-wracking moment of bringing a boy home to meet my dad. But I sometimes wished I did. Not having my dad there for the day-to-day of many of my formative years often had me feeling envious of other girls who had their dads around. However, with time, changing circumstances, and little shifts in personalities, I became blessed with a far better situation.
I’m now 36 years old; my father is 64, and I can honestly say we have a bond and friendship that far surpasses anything I could have asked for in adolescence. The past few years of our lives have allowed us to hang out together, share friends and interests, and, more importantly, share our feelings. Most women my age have a relationship with their father that, at best, includes cards on holidays and birthdays, and maybe a weekly phone call. I, on the other hand, see my dad nearly every day and talk to him constantly. We go to ball games and parties, take trips and plan projects, and sometimes just hang out and watch old movies. And best of all, we are honest with each other about everything. My dad knows I value his opinion, and, therefore, when asked, he gives it to me (but always in a careful, considerate way). I can’t say that advice would have been as valuable to me in my younger years. I mean, did any of us really think our parents knew what they were talking about when we were teens? Probably not.
But now, as a grown woman, this friendship I have with my dad is priceless to me. I listen to his advice, and I’d like to think he listens to mine, as well. People who know us would never guess that there was ever a time that we weren’t best friends. But I can say that I am so thankful that we are now.
On the other hand, be careful what you wish you for, because, while I may have once wanted my dates to eventually meet my dad, these days, he is probably already standing right next to me when we meet. (No pressure, Johnny Depp!)
Happy Father’s Day to my best friend! Love you, Dad!