Long story short, the other week my dad called me “the son [he] always wanted”. I mean, we do things that typically a father and son would do together, not a father and daughter, and I always knew he thought that but he never actually said it. Like we work on tractors together, smoke cigars together, have a couple cold ones together, go on motorcycle rides together, and have a hidden ice cream stash in one of the freezers- you get the picture. Dad and I have always been close, like spandex on a fat guy. We’ve always enjoyed each other’s time, whether we set time out to spend together or we’re just working alongside each other. And now that I live four hours from home, we don’t get those moments as frequently, so we talk a lot on the phone about anything and everything. In fact, every night we talk, if for no other reason he always finds out what I’m making for supper so that we cook the same thing and “we’re all still eating together as a family”. His reasoning might sound crazy but he’s seriously my best friend.
But in this day in age, I think it’s important to note that although he is my best friend he’s always been a parent first. I’m not a parent so this next statement is purely an observation, but I think that many people believe that being a parent is one or the other. You are friends with your kid OR you are a parent, not both. I’m lucky enough to have a parent who couples as my best friend.
I know he was joking when he said I was the son he always wanted, but it’s just his way of saying how much he values all the little things we do together. I think that kids, regardless of the age, need to put their effort in to a good parent-child relationship (as do the parents). I’m not saying to go and unleash your deepest darkest secret, but do something together- no siblings, no other parents, no friends- just the two of you. Go on an ice cream date, go for a walk, anything really. I get that all father/daughter relationships aren’t like ours, but if it were, the world would seriously be a better place. I just know that from my perspective, there is no greater feeling than knowing you can go to your parent for anything, and they come to you for things as well. They trust me and I trust them, and there are no secrets.