Today is my Dad's birthday. My namesake. Ain't he handsome? I don't know if it's because Todd and I are expecting a little girl, and I was my dad's little girl, but I've been thinking about him a lot lately. About parenting. About what it means to be a dad. The kind of commitment that is. He and my mom came into town for a couple of weeks recently, and while they were in town, he asked me casually if I had memories of him being around as a kid. The question was outlandish to me. Of course I remember him being around! How could I forget? I remember being little waiting for him to come home from work. I'd always wrap my arms around his neck and squeeze him with all the love I could muster. He always told me there was nothing like an Ashton Hug. I remember shooting baskets in the driveway for what felt like hours at a time. I loved that time with him. He was my coach. He'd show me the proper form and how to follow through. In my mind, he came to every game...every soccer game, basketball game, and track meet. I loved to talk to him about the game afterwards, breaking down what I did well and what I could improve on. He never overdid it or pushed me too hard. He was supportive and encouraging. I always felt like he was proud of me. He also taught me that sports aren't everything. Throughout high school and college, I feel like whenever things were really hard, he would simply say to trust in the Lord. Do your part Ashton, and He'll do His. Everything's gonna work out. And guess what? He was always right. Throughout college (not just my freshman year), I would get really homesick for him playing the piano. I always used to say I was going to marry someone who played the piano, so our home could be filled with that music. Every Sunday, he would pound out some tunes, and I would cuddle up on the couch to take a nap or read a book, all the while, listening to him sing and play. He has serious swagger when he plays the piano. Gets really into it. Nothing puts a smile on my face like seeing him sway and move to the beat. I like to think I got my Dad's sense of humor. He knows exactly how to lighten a mood and make ya laugh. I love it. Nothing like a good Dad joke. Most people say I look like my Dad...that good ol' Dickerson nose. Wouldn't have it any other way.
Thank you for being my anchor Dad. For being the perfect balance of Dad and friend. Reese is going to be one lucky granddaughter.
"He didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it." —Clarence Kelland