25 Sep 2013
**Hello from Greece! While Eric and I are away, I’ve asked some of my favorite people on earth to write guest posts. This one is from my incredible dad. You can also find him at One Creative Scientist. I write a lot about my dad–he is one of the sweetest people I know, and his laugh is one of my favorite sounds on earth.**
I am honored that Cameron has asked me to write a guest post on her blog. I’ve been thinking over several days about what topic I would write on, but I kept coming back to this title because it would allow me to write my tribute to her and afford me a chance to say thank you for the opportunity to give my side of the story. You see, Cameron posted a little over a year ago a post called Daddy’s Girl. It blew me away. Even rereading it now moistens my eyes with tears.
One of the absolute joys of finding a wonderful woman to spend your life with is to be blessed with children. And I always say I got exactly what I wanted: a son, a daughter, and a son (in that order). I have always been a one-girl-at-a- time kind of guy, so it just seemed perfectly natural that I would have one wife and one daughter.
As I was going through my multitude of pictures looking for ones to include, I sadly found that there weren’t very many of just Cameron and me together. Then I realized that I was usually the one behind the camera. So many of these memories come from images in my mind rather than photographs. But they are very special memories of times I spent with “daddy’s little girl.”
Cameron and her older brother are fairly close in age ,so as they were growing up, I had many opportunities to do similar things with them at the same time. With my oldest son, play came very easily. He was interested in cars, trains, blocks, Legos–all things I could relate to from my own childhood and things I knew how to play. With Cameron, it wasn’t so easy. She loved dolls and had quite a collection. I didn’t know how to play with dolls and still don’t. I can recall one time playing Barbie dolls with Cameron and thinking we needed to get Barbie a car so she could drive around (we eventually did get one, along with a doll house).
With Cameron’s interest in dolls, I came up with the idea of building a dollhouse together.
I must admit that although I did more of the building and painting, it was Cameron that would pick out the colors, decorations, and furniture.
As Cameron got older, she would save her allowance to buy herself clothes, and this provided a wonderful opportunity for us to go shopping together, just the two of us. We would head to the local department store, Goldsmith’s, where she would make a number of selections and then take them into the fitting room. I would sit outside while she changed into each outfit, and then she would come out to show me, twirling around so I could see her from all sides. I would comment on how it looked on her and how it fit. She would beam with smiles, happy to be spending time together and feeling pride in being able to pay for her own clothes. Then when we got home, she would have a fashion show for her mom. She is wearing one of the outfits she bought in the picture above.
Another activity we enjoyed together was going to the annual Girl Scout hoe down dance.
It was a date night for a little girl and her daddy: dinner and a dance.These two were particularly special as one was on my birthday and the other was the day after Cameron’s.
Years later, this was my Father’s Day present as a reminder of those special times. Little did I know at the time that these dances would lead to an even more significant dance many years later.
Another special time was when Cameron and I ran in a 3-mile race for the first time. Neither of us had ever run that far, so when we got to the 2.5-mile marker, we began to doubt if we could make it without stopping and walking. But taking Cameron’s hand, I told her we could do it, and so hand in hand, we ran the last half-mile, crossing the finish line together. I still have the t-shirt from that first run as a reminder of what we achieved together that day.
Cameron also was my lone classical music fan in the family. I could always count on her to go with me to The Nutcracker at Christmas time. And she willingly listened to every version of Pachelbel’s Canon in D at the music store to find just the right version that I had grown to love in college. This has become our special song, and wherever we hear it, it is a reminder of this time and another in the future. Last fall, when my wife and I were visiting my son and daughter-in-law in New York, we came across this musician playing Canon in D in Central Park. I took a picture and sent it to Cameron, knowing it would be as special to her as it was to me.
Another special time was when Cameron was ready to buy her first car. The two of us went to the dealership together. She picked out what she wanted and then assertively brokered a great deal for herself. It was probably the hardest deal that salesman ever had from a 17-year-old.
When Cameron went off to college, she and I became travel companions for the trips to and from college. She was my soul mate on these 700-mile treks in following the scorched earth approach—never stopping until you get there unless you absolutely have to. On one trip we diverged from this approach to allow me just enough time to make a quick spin through the Corvette museum in Bowling Green, KY.
But it was on Cameron’s wedding day that I got the greatest thrill of being her daddy, getting to walk her down the aisle. The surprise of seeing her for the first time in her wedding dress. The realization that we were the last two left in the anteroom before walking down the aisle. The start up of Canon in D (I had completely forgotten she had planned that). We were both in tears.But as we made it down the aisle, I kept saying we could do this, just like that run together so many years ago. I remember how proud I was and thinking what an incredible honor it was for a father to get to walk such a lovely daughter down the aisle at her wedding.
And then when it came time for me to dance with Cameron, I delighted in revealing to her that her mother and I had been secretly taking dance lessons just for this moment.
It has been a little over two years since that day, but my pride in Cameron has only grown. Thanks to her blog, I am truly amazed on a daily basis by her thoughts, her insights, her wisdom, her memories, her photos, and the life she is creating with Eric. I couldn’t have dreamed of a better husband to entrust Cameron to (and a scientist to boot!). And I know that even when I can’t be with her, Daddy’s Little Girl is being well taken care of.