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"The Gentle Giant

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My dad is neither famous, nor wealthy, and he probably doesn't fit the illusion society may have about fathers. He is a blue-collared member of the working class with a few flaws to ensure his rank. Maybe my dad isn't perfect. But that doesn't matter. He is famous for always being there for me when I needed him the most and his love is a gushing river of burning gentleness and warmth. This, however, does matter.

The relationship between father and daughter is always different from that of mother and daughter. Of course, I love both of my parents the same, hands down. But the twinkle found in the depths of my father's eyes has always provided me a sense of reassurance. For as long as I can remember, I've looked up to "daddy". In my childhood eyes, superman was no match for my hero. He was always, without a doubt, my knight in shining armor, my prince charming; my dad could simply do anything and everything. There was something about the way his large, rough hands devoured my small fingers when we walked. His 6 foot, 4 inch body and powerful glide kept me safe from that awful boogeyman lurking in my closet or underneath my bed. Nobody could tell a bedtime story like daddy. The soft moonlight revealed the silhouette of his face as he positioned himself atop my bed to begin that night's fairytale. The rasp of his voice soothed my small, tired eyes into a whirling, magical slumber in which anything was possible. All of my fears were tucked away after daddy laid his goodnight kiss upon my cheek.

Imagine a big, burly man running to aid the screams of his fragile daughter when she scrapes her knee. Picture him having a tea party with his five year old princess or dressing up with "Pretty, Pretty Princess" jewelry. Doing so will better your understanding of my childhood with my father. Having my dad around made me indeed, feel like a pretty princess. When that crown slipped, I guess you could say my bottom received a royal spanking. But he was just as gentle as he was stern. Sometimes mom had an extra kid to feed at the dinner table. Now, as an adolescent, that same kid isn't afraid to show when I'm with my dad. He lets me know its O.K. to release the child within by acting like a big kid himself. Through his actions he keeps me in touch with my childhood.

Learning lessons is never easy; especially when you're



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