There’s a fine line between a father and dad.  A father is someone who is biologically half of you.  They’re the reason you’re walking the planet and they choose whether or not to be in your life.  A dad is “a son’s first hero and a daughter’s first love.”  They are the ones in your life who push you, who care for you, who make you laugh, who tell you it’s going to be okay.  They never once question their love for you and couldn’t imagine living without you.  I was blessed with a dad who held my hands in the ocean so that I could jump the waves.  A dad who cried when he saw me on the day of my first communion.  A dad who I felt safe with and who I talked to.  I have a dad who pushes me, loves me, reasons with me and is there for me.

These are the 13 best moments a daughter has the privilege of sharing with her dad.

  1. First Pair of Shoes

Nobody’s too excited when a child gets their first pair of shoes.  Parents later learn that tracing their child’s foot on paper and bringing it to the store saves lots of time so that they don’t have to go through the process of trying them all on.  Usually the first pair are not one’s to be too proud of for any reason other then them being the first.  Usually they’re over your ankles because everyone’s terrified that you’ll snap them if they’re not and they’ve got some pastel butterflies lighting up.  But the picture of you leaving the mall holding Daddy’s hand because you don’t have to worry about getting your socks dirty is priceless.

  1. The “baby sleeping on Daddy” pictures. Apparently the whole “taking care of a baby” thing is a little tiring, so going through scrapbooks and finding pictures of you and your dad with his head over the back of the chair and yours back over his shoulder are definitely something to laugh at.
  1. Daddy Daughter dances. This is like a five year olds prom.  Your mom buys you a new dress and spends the five minutes you’ll sit still for brushing your hair until it’s almost ready to leave.  But before your handsome date lifts you into his big muscular arms and into your car seat, he presents you with your first corsage.  While he slips this on your wrist, he’s probably also praying he’ll be the only one getting you flowers for many, many, many years.  You’ll appreciate it because it’s just you and dad, he’ll appreciate it because the next father- daughter dance will be at your wedding.
  1. The “Daddy’s home greetings. There’s nothing like fighting with your siblings to decide who will be the first one to jump into Dad’s arms when he gets home from work.
  1. The “you’re fine, go to school” days. A relatively famous story in my house is when my youngest sister had her kindergarten concert and my mother was on a trip.  This left my dad to deal with all three girls and make decisions he probably wouldn’t have made.  But my sister got sick and threw up before her big day on stage and thus a question had to be answered: “Will your mom be madder that I sent you to school six hours after you threw up or madder that I made you miss your first concert?”  That day, she sang her little heart out.
  1. The sports fans. Many dads dream of coaching the soccer teams instead of dealing with the parents on the other side of the field when it came to finding a place to set up their lawn chairs.  I had mine as a coach, as did my sisters.  That was until we all quit soccer and started swimming.  I’m sure he liked the recreation fee and rare cleat purchase a bit more than our endless bathing suit collections and breaking goggles and quite possibly the five hour meets.  But he was our biggest and loudest fans when we were in the water.  From the rec. team to my final high school meet as captain, he was always there.
  1. The first communion. Before we overthrew the catholic church, we all walked down the isle in our little white dresses that the grandparents bought and stood in front of the family as we became children? of the catholic church.  This white dress would be the first of who we were ever seen in inside the church.  One when we were seven and the other when we were much, much older.  But our Dad’s see the same little girl in both pictures.
  1. When he saves you from your mother. Mom’s have that special way of driving you slightly more insane than the rest of your family.  During those years, your dad becomes your safe haven.  He protects you from your punishments and might even reason with your mom making life just a little bit easier on you.  He’s your safe haven.
  1. When he becomes friends with your friends’ dads. When he finds a friend’s parents who he genuinely likes- which is rare- it opens the door of many possibilities for you and your little friend.  This means more play dates and more family dinners.  It’s a win win for everyone.  They golf, and you bond over your American girl dolls.
  1. When he tells you you can when everyone else says you can’t. There will be many times when you go to him with a situation when someone either threatened your ability to color inside the lines or when your biggest enemy gets into the college you wanted.  No matter what the situation, he will dry those tears and help you get to where you want to be.  Whether he helps you fall in love with a new school or gives you a new tiger to color in, he’ll always be there telling you that you can do better.
  1. The phone calls. When you’re away, they’re constant, especially when you’re at college. You have fled the nest and are experiencing the world without him holding your hand.  He’ll always want to know what you’re up to, who your friends are, who the boy in your Facebook pictures is and the occasional question about how your Biology test went.  He loves being informed, so give him as much information as he wants.  He might even throw some candy in the mail for you.
  1. When he tells you he misses you and wants you home. However fabulous you feel being away from the rules of the house, knowing he wants you home will make you run and decide to put up with the rest of your family for a few days.  He’d run to you if you needed him, so when you can go home, go see him.10151367_10152138328677561_2817334696182111818_n
  1. Realizing you were lucky enough to get him as your dad.