Thursday, April 3, 2008
Just a warning: there will be many vacation pictures popping up around here over the next few days. Why put them in one post when I can stretch them out a bit, right?
I love this picture. Not because it is technically superior, not because of how I look (could my eyes be any more squinty??), but because pictures with my stepdad are few and far between. He's not one for being in photos, he'd rather take them. Hey-- that sounds familiar. But as I'm getting older, and now that I live so far away, I don't take no for an answer. We *will* take a picture when we're together.
I feel like I could write forever about why I love him. You know how they say girls tend to marry a guy just like their dad? I wasn't sure I believed that. Not to mention, I have two dads..so was I going to have two husbands? Um, no. But the longer I am married to Karl, the more I see bits of my dad in him. The snarky sense of humor. The twinkle in his eye that he gets when something has made him laugh. The way he's quiet with strangers, but can read people really really well.
I'm sorry to say that I didn't learn to truly appreciate my dad until I no longer lived under his roof. It took me going away to college for our relationship to grow. During the time I was living in Gainesville, Dad had several projects in Orlando and Jacksonville, both cities a couple of hours away. Each time he made a trip to check on a job site, he'd find a way to make the trip a little longer, so we could go out to lunch. We'd always eat at Raffertys and then he'd take me to Publix for a grocery shopping trip. As a poor college student, those grocery trips were a chance for me to supplement my ramen noodle diet with things like Progresso Soup and name brand Mac and Cheese. Most of all, I appreciated the conversation during these visits. It was the perfect mix of being treated like an adult, but also be assured that I still had my dad to lean on when I felt like a confused kid.
(I'm totally tearing up as I write this. I blame hormones. My body is full of them these days)
When I finished up in Gainesville, my dad gave me the gift of his time. He promised no matter where I got my next t.v. job, he would get me packed, moved, and settled into a new place. Ha! He had no idea what he was in for. In the first two weeks of May I finished my classes, flew to TN for an interview, graduated, and was offered a job in Knoxville that started 10 days later!
Looking back on that time, I should have been scared out of my mind. Just about everything in my life was changing. Dad and I loaded up a uhaul with my stuff and my dog and drove to Knoxville with nowhere to go. My interview trip didn't allow for apartment hunting, and back then every apartment complex didn't have a website. So we were traveling blind. I had so many things to worry about, but I really had no worries. I loved that two day Uhaul ride. I laughed as we drove that big truck around town trying to squeeze into little parking lots, looking at apartments that didn't work for one reason or another. We finally found a place and just as promised Dad got me settled before my first day of work.
Our relationship continues to grow and change. Life has thrown us some curve balls in the past few years, but I've never doubted his love for me. I am so lucky to have such an amazing person in my life. There are many things about being a product of divorce that I hate, but I will always be thankful for the circumstances that brought my stepdad into my life.