This post is sponsored by Michelob Ultra but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
Like many that have come before me, I am and always have been a daddy’s girl. One of my oldest memories is visiting the house I would grow up in while it was still under construction. We were with some extended family members and, when we made it to the kitchen, someone looked down at me, pointed to what I now assume was some kind of framing and asked me if I was proud of my father for building it. He had been helping with some of the work and, as I was only three at the time, I’d had no clue. Let me tell you: if the idea that my dad was a superhero that could do anything hadn’t begun to form yet, it certainly did at that moment.
As the years went by, my brother and I watched in awe as he slowly turned different parts of our wild five acres into beautiful, flourishing gardens. There was a huge dry river bed, a bridge over the cove in our pond, a gazebo overlooking the point, fire pits, picnic tables, a hundred varieties of flowers, concrete stepping-stone paths, birdhouses, a place dedicated to planting all of our Christmas trees, and (of course) a swing set for his kids—all put together with his two hands. Later, he even built our pole barn that eventually included a small recording studio and most of our house extension. And, if something ever needed fixing, he fixed it. Aside from when we got termites once, I don’t think we ever had to hire a service to take care of something around our home.
Now that I’m really thinking about it, I don’t know what surprises me the most: that he had the ability to do all of this, that he had the bandwidth to do all of this, or that he still always seemed to have time for his kids. When we were younger, days in the warmer months would often be spent fishing or boating in the pond, hiking through the woods looking at plants and catching critters, or learning how to ride a bike and throw a ball. When winter would roll around, we would pray for snow so he could take us out to go sledding down the slope on the other side of the dam, or for snowball fights and to build snowmen in the front yard.
While things did change as my brother and I reached our teenage years, his spending time with us did not. Playing in the woods became gardening together, and things like teaching us how to ride a bike became how to drive a car. Eventually, the childhood curiosity he encouraged would grow to include a sense of capability as well. There’s no question that I wouldn’t be able to do half of what I can—whether he taught it to me, or I was able to teach myself—without him.
We’re all a lot older now, and things are very different. We suffered a house fire about 8 years ago and my parents have since divorced and had to sell the childhood home (a combination of the two being why I have no photos of the gardens to share). And me, I now live two thousand miles away from my father and brother (something that is honestly never going to be easy). As comes with the territory, we’re only able to be together twice a year now. Still, he always makes time for me whenever I call. Sometimes it’s just for a quick word of advice as I stare at caulking options at the hardware store, and others it’s to chat for an hour and a half about the progress of what we’ve been growing. Whatever I need, he’s always there.
Of course, because of the distance, we won’t be able to be in the same state for Father’s Day, but that doesn’t mean we won’t still see one another. Instead of the big family get-togethers of the past, we’ll be making due with a video call over a couple of Michelob ULTRAs about what we’ve been up to, our current home projects, and updates on the family dog and our gardens.
Nothing is perfect and our lives together have been no exception, but this is our story and I couldn’t be more grateful for it. I couldn’t love my Pody more, and will always be a daddy’s girl.
*If you’ll also be sharing a Michelob ULTRA with your dad this Father’s Day (maybe you’ll be lucky enough to do it in person), you should definitely check out their Beer Gear Shop for some gift ideas. Personally, I’ve got my eye on the ‘World’s Greatest Dad’ Pilsner Glass <3