what makes a father?

I’m a sucker for Father/Daughter dances at weddings. Its guaranteed to get me every. single. time. So to all my future brides, fair warning that you very well might see me wiping away a tear as your father spins you around the dance floor, holding on to his little girl for one more song. Its part of who I am.

I was your typically girly-girl who had cradles and strollers full of baby dolls and closets full of dress up clothes. I would only wear dresses, but they had to twirl. If they didn’t twirl, they were no good. I was (and still am) captivated by love stories, and thought every one should end up with their own happily ever after. I think Lauren and I really are kindred spirits; she’s convinced every girl is a princess and has her very own prince charming somewhere out there, but until he shows up her Daddy is the best thing in her world and will fill that position just fine. I’ve always thought that had circumstances been different I probably would have been very much a “Daddy’s Girl”. However, my Heavenly Father knew so much better than anyone else did from the beginning, and I was never really presented with that opportunity. I’ve been fascinated by looking at different father-daughter relationships; so much so, that I even wrote my senior thesis paper on that specific relationship. It never ceases to amaze me how differently maternal and paternal figures can impact a child’s growth and development.  I included this quote from Captivating written by Staci Eldredge in my senior thesis:

“Remember twirling skirts? We twirled in front of our daddies. We wanted to know, “Daddy, am I lovely? Am I captivating?” From them we learn that we are delighted in, that we are special… or that we are not. How a father relates to his daughter has an enormous effect on her soul- for good or for evil.”

While I did my fair share of twirling, I never had my daddy there affirming me. I had something infinitely better. I was, and will forever be, 100% a Grandpa’s Girl.

He’s the most amazing man and father I could have ever asked for here on this earth and I couldn’t be more thankful for him. He’s the one who ooo-ed and aaaaw-ed over my latest song I’d learned, always swearing that I got my good voice from him. Who told me that I was the “prettiest little thing he’d ever seen!” The one who would dance me to sleep every night when I was a baby. He’s the man who took me out every Saturday morning on a special date. We’d climb into his truck, complete with old coffee cup and little box of toothpicks sitting in the cup holders. I’d put in the Brooks and Dunn cassette tape, and off we’d go. Usually somewhere to get some breakfast together, and then on to Home Depot or whatever hardware store would have what he needed to complete that weekends task. They are mornings I will never forget.

While I will never see any man in my life as my “daddy”, I have truly been blessed with the greatest Father in the world. He’s the one that will walk me down the aisle one day toward my prince charming, and the one that I will surely soak with my tears during that father-daughter dance on my wedding day.

I wish I could remember the assignment that caused me to create this.. ahem.. masterpiece.. but no one can remember what sparked this great work of art. I drew this picture of my favorite guy when I was probably in 2nd or 3rd grade, and to tell you the truth if I was asked to draw a portrait of my grandpa right now it would look very similar to this. My drawing skills have not improved much since then. Regardless, he loves it, and calls it one of his most prized possessions and it has been framed in his room ever since I first brought it home from school. It has started to fade so he asked me to take a picture of it last time I was there. So internet, here it is for all to see, my original portrait of the best Father a girl could have! grandpagrandpa2grandpa3not much has changed since then.. maybe a few less bows and ruffles, but thats about it ;0) grandpa4

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  1. […] her grandfather that just MELTS MY HEART! You all know very well by now that I’m completely a Grandpa’s Girl, and so I’m so thankful that we were able to get a few photos of their family with him too :) […]

  2. […] already reheated a couple times by 8:00 AM, we’d pop in a country music cassette tape, and my grandpa would take me on a date. We’d pick a place to grab a quick breakfast, usually at the […]

  3. Jen says:

    Awww, Jessie, you make me cry! :)

  4. Molly says:

    What a sweet story and tribute to your grandfather…He sounds like a great guy! Your story gave me chills as I was reading it, I could so relate to many thing but especially the toothpicks. My Dad was notorious for not only having toothpicks in his truck but for also being simply a great Dad! Cherish every moment you have with him…My sisters and I lost our Dad in December of ’08 at the age of 62. I cherish all those special memories I had with him everyday!!!

  5. Grandma says:

    I am crying, too…can’t even comment, except to say I loved it. Grandma

  6. melanie ellis says:

    crying:) love the story. still love the artwork! xoxo-mel

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