Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Pulling Out All the Stops

Now some may say all [daughters] just exaggerate, that every [father's] great...
Every daughter tends to say her father's tops. She pulls out all the stops to praise him... and quite rightly!
~"No Matter What," Beauty and the Beast

Mr. Knightley is my ultimate literary hero.  Y'all know that, right?  And if you didn't, you do now.  (I guest posted about Mr. Knightley over at Eva-Joy's blog, by the way--check it out here.)  I went into some detail (I elaborated, Millicent) about why Mr. Knightley is my favorite literary hero in that post, so I won't rehash it all here.  But to put it all in a nutshell, Mr. Knightley is my favorite because he's the kind of man I want to marry someday.  He embodies all the qualities of a wonderful husband and a man of character and integrity.

It's been said, you know, that girls tend to marry guys who are like their fathers.  And if that's true, then I will definitely end up with a Mr. Knightley.  Because my dad is like Mr. Knightley in many ways (except for the fact that he's even better).

Mr. Knightley's good points (heh... like he has bad points) include his sense of honor, his gentlemanliness (yes, it's a word, I made it up) his kindness, his generosity, his thoughtfulness and his amazing sense of humor.  Each and every one of those qualities can also be found in--wow, you guessed it already, how brilliant--my dad.

My dad runs a home business, preaches at two nursing homes every Sunday, leads a Bible study and prayer meeting each Tuesday, runs a book program at a nursing home every Wednesday and still makes time for his family.  All my life, he's taught me by example how important it is to do things together, to spend time with the people you love.  The result: hundreds of wonderful memories.

Daddy fostered my love of reading when I was really, really little--he was reading the Little House on the Prairie series out loud to me when I was four.  By the time I was five, he was encouraging me to read the first few verses of the Scripture passage each night in our family devotions (a tradition he's carried on as each of my siblings learned to read).  He introduced me to Mark Twain, encouraged my reading of Dickens (we're beginning Dombey and Son together) and we've had many long talks about one of our ultimate favorites, The Yearling.  Reading aloud together as a family has been a biweekly tradition since I can remember, and it's been the means of introducing me to the vastness of classic literature.

Yes, that is I on the Upward Climb in the year of grace 2000.
Notice the pink "hiking" shoes.  Also the pink backpack.
I was muchly proud of them.
When I was five, Daddy took me on a mountain hike, my first really-truly-grown-up expedition.  I still vividly remember the thrill of standing on the flat top of the mountain, exhilarated with the feeling of having accomplished something big (after which I took a half-hour nap before we descended the mountain).  The hike was exciting and memorable, but what I cherish most is the memory of my wonderful time with my dad.  Sure, I was little and couldn't go very fast, but Dad didn't mind that and instead took the time to give me an incredibly special day with him.

Since then we've gone on bike rides together and many more hikes, visited historic sites (we're both history buffs) and planned surprises for my mom's birthday.   When I competed in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in 2009 (heh, that's the first time I've ever mentioned THAT on here), didn't make the cut to the semifinals and was pretty much devastated as a result, my dad was there to hug me and let me know how proud he was of me no matter how I placed (again, because he'd told me that before I even went to Washington for the competition).  Just as Mom was my coach throughout my journey to the national competition, Daddy had been the head of the cheerleading section and the first one to hug me when it was over.  My dad held me when I was born, baptized me when I was fourteen and will (I hope) be the one to perform my marriage ceremony someday.  Because he's been there for me through everything in my life.

(I was so determined to get through writing this post without tearing up, but that just flew out the window...)

What I'm trying to say here is that my dad is my hero.  Yes, Mr. Knightley's great and all that, but he's fictional.  (Somebody give Melody some smelling salts.)  My dad is a real person, the most wonderful man in my life.

Even Jane Austen can't trump that.

Happy Father's Day, Daddy, from your perpetually late daughter,


Alexandra said...

That is soooooo sweet!!!! I loved it. And YIPEEEEE...if all that's true about girls marrying guys like their dads...PERCYYYYYYYYYY!!!!

Immaturity over. In all seriousness, this was such a great post. Dads are the bestest. :)

K. Barrett said...

I think your blog is very clever, so I am awarding you this award. http://hiddenorchards.blogspot.com/2012/06/i-feel-rich-today.html Thanks for making blogging time so amusing and enjoyable.

Anonymous said...

Dearest Amelia,

It has been the most wonderful pleasure and privilege to be father to you and your siblings these last 17 years.

"It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both." -E.B. White

(And so are you, Amy!)

Love, Dad.

Hayden said...

this was so sweet!!! i love that song. Dads 9especially mine ;)are the best!

You were adorable, by the way. Completely adorable!!!

Miss Laurie of Old-Fashioned Charm said...

Awww!! This is a perfectly sweet and awesome post dearest Mouse! Thanks for sharing all the things you love about your dad! (This post was so sweet that I'll be passing a box of tissues as well as smelling salts to our dearest Nonsensical Girl! :))

Dads are the best, aren't they! My mom taught me to read but my dad really encouraged my love of the classics and he's the one I still enjoy talking about my favorite literary characters and plots with!
I always seem to come back to comparing my daddy to Henry Tilney (wit, brilliance, expert on language - the "nice" conversation is so him!, good knowledge of many things such as driving safely and muslins, always make me smile) and that's probably why "Mr. Tilney!!!!" (little NA 2007 quote there) is still my favorite Austen hero. Mr. Knightley is a close second though!

You were such a cutie in that photo! :) Love the pink shoes and backpack too!

I'd never heard that particular Beauty & the Beast song before (probably because I know little of the musical version) but it's so sweet and the Disney film has a special place in my heart because my dad took me to see it in the cinema for my 5th birthday! One of my special memories with my daddy. ;)

Miss Melody said...


Wow. Putting a picture of yourself when you were little AND mentioning SNSB. I am not convinced that wonders ever DO cease. :P

Ah well, now that I'm commenting I might as well go back and read the whole post. Haha.

What does elaborate mean?
(Um... private joke, in case someone else is reading this. I know what elaborate means. :P)

Awwwww...the picture is cute. :D I mean you. Heehee.

I know Mr. Knightley is fictional, you silly. Not in my head, of course, but fictional enough so that none of us can marry him. Except Emma, of course. Sigh. Poor us.

Very sweet post. ;) But I'm still trying to get ovuh the shocks of you exposing yourself such! ;D

An Old-Fashioned Girl said...

What a sweet post!