By Brittany Hackett
Whenever I mention that I have three sisters, the usual response is, “Oh man, your poor dad. Four daughters, a wife and no guys? How does he do it?”
To be honest with you, I have no idea how the man has made it to 56 without either going crazy or having a stroke.
Our family has always been a little more Married…with Children than 7th Heaven. Sarcastic to the core, Dad has never been the warm and fuzzy type — that’s been Mom’s role. But however tough my dad appears on the outside, he’s probably the biggest pushover to ever live. All it takes is one look at him with puppy-dog eyes and sweetly saying, “Daddy” and he’s putty in our hands. This technique is most effective at the mall or when the car needs gas, but also works for non-material things.
My father is the type of man who went into work early when we were kids so we wouldn’t have to ride the bus home after school. He never missed any of my basketball games, was at every marching band performance for at least six years, and even took me to see the Backstreet Boys in concert. He sat in the lobby of the amphitheatre reading for most of the time, but proximity counts in this situation. The past few weeks have reminded me of just why a daughter considers her daddy to be her hero.
As my friends know, I’ve been pretty stressed out this semester (Haven’t we all?) and there have been many phone calls home. Most of these calls were made to my warm and fuzzy mother, but her advice just wasn’t what I needed to hear.
As sweet as her offers to fly me home to Atlanta for a weekend were, I really needed some tough love.
In one phone call in particular I tearfully recounted the past week, the papers that just weren’t writing themselves, and the tragedy of my poor iPod that decided to crap out on me. Dad was quiet throughout the entire ordeal and, when I had finished, just told me to pretty much suck it up. He said it in nicer terms, but the message was there.
“Go try to relax, do some homework and call me tomorrow and let me know how you are,” he said.
This basic advice is the same that my mother had given me about 20 minutes before I called my father, but the words seemed much more calming coming from him. I realized that throughout my life, my dad has been my constant source of rationality and reason. Dad is the Dali Llama. He is what all college students need — someone who is willing to just listen when you need to vent.
As the semester is winding down and the stress levels on campus are skyrocketing, I predict that there will be many tears and outbursts of emotion. Maybe the person you choose to breakdown in front of will be a friend, maybe it will be a teacher, or maybe you’ll just call home.
And if that can’t make you feel better, just think of my dad. After all, he probably has it the worst of all of us because during winter break, his house will once again be overflowing with estrogen.
In the mean time, I’ll just keep calling him.