A father has the ability to set the tone of his entire home. It is his role to show the girls he loves most what self-worth is, what love is, what respect is, what hard work is, and what it means to love a man who loves them lavishly first.
If you’re around me for any bit of time, you will quickly catch on that I have a major mushy button for my daddy. The mention of a daddy, and Todd Cheves is immediately on my mind accompanied with “awww” and a couple crazy stories about him. My dad is one handsome man. Momma tells me not to tell him that anymore or his head will grow, but I can’t help but say it. 😉 He was a football star, a baseball star, a hardworking cowboy, a college athlete, an Aggie, and one of the most funny people I know. He is tall and in the summertime, his neck turns red, revealing his Cherokee genes.
He is the hardest worker I know. For over 20 years, Daddy would leave for work at 5:30 in the morning and get home after 5. I always knew when he was home just by listening because of how he would walk in through the door. Daddy is a man of routine, so he would open the door, put his coat in the coat closet, jingle his change, placing it along with his keys and chapstick in his side table before doing anything else. Daddy always knows where every item he owns is, because he places them in the same spot every single day. Honestly, I think you could blind fold him for a day but he would still know where to find what he needs. When we were kids, you could pretty much guarantee that daddy was outside when he wasn’t at work. Dressed in his working Wranglers, not his “nice” Wranglers, with cowboy boots and his white cowboy hat that didn’t quite protect his neck. He was either trimming trees, mowing the lawn, fixing something, building something, or tending to one of the animals. He would take me fishing, he would play soccer, and he at least tried to play baseball with us- but that one never really worked out in his favor. He played in a softball league when we were little, and we would cheer for him in the stands with Blow Pops in our mouths. He could punt a ball so high it would disappear for a brief moment, lingering at the top, before coming back down. He built a tree house and a tire swing, and he taught me how to ride a bike. Daddy was ‘coach’ at one point or another for every single one of us, which blows my mind knowing now how long and hard he worked. He would come home through the door, change out of his slacks and tie, and put on his soccer coach clothes. I don’t understand how he did it. He also never missed a single performance of any kind. He was at everything no matter what.
Bless both my momma and daddy’s hearts, because I was a VERY curious child and needed an explanation for everything. I needed to know what a song meant, I needed to know why certain things worked the way they did, I needed to understand every process. I also had a distinct Disney-like cartoon voice, something my daddy says is one of his favorite things about me as a kid. I would follow my dad around outside, cartoon voice and all, asking him questions as he would continue to do whatever it was he was doing. He would always have a calm and cool answer for me, explaining to me whatever it is I needed to know. He had a quick response for lyrics of songs that went over my head but insisted I needed to understand. He also let me put on talent shows and sing songs I made up on the spot for as long as people would let me go. Daddy knew everything and he made me feel pretty + safe always.
I have a lot of funny stories about dad, but one of my favorite stories about him that I tell often is when he chased the goats on a Saturday morning in his underwear. We were just all rolling out of bed, making our way slowly to the breakfast nook to eat together. (I loved Saturday morning at our house, because we always had biscuits and gravy with scrambled eggs, which is daddy’s favorite.) We had goats on our ranch, and those stupid things always would climb up on my dad’s car. There were many times he would have to run out there to scare them off, and then pop the dents they left back up. This time was the final straw, though. He hated those goats. He looked out, saw the goats on his car, and darted out the door. He chased those goats off the car and across the yard- all in his underwear. We knew we couldn’t be laughing when he came back inside, so we got out our giggles waited for his valiant return to the kitchen for his biscuits and gravy.
Of all these things, my favorite thing about my dad is that, though I saw he was a hard worker around the house, he never brought home the office. I couldn’t tell you what he did other than sometimes hearing the phrase “briefing the general” but that’s because when daddy was home, he was daddy. He wasn’t Weapons Systems Manager. He valued his home, his wife, and his children. He drew up my momma’s dream home, and created a beautiful space for us to all live. He loved us enough to make home a safe place free of worry about what was happening at work. I really appreciate this core piece to our home growing up. Both of my parents did this so well, and it’s something I will absolutely carry with me when we have kids. Daddy is also unashamedly a crier. Put a good commercial in front of him or the Star Spangled Banner, it doesn’t matter, he will have a good tear in his eye. I am so grateful for a dad who had emotion and showed it. I am grateful for a daddy who held me in the kitchen and let me get mascara on his nice shirt when I couldn’t handle mean girls at school anymore. I am grateful for a daddy who is my favorite dance partner to just make something happen with. When the music is on, we are out there. Three step, two step, swing.
I could say so much more, but I will end it with simply this: Todd Cheves, you are one of a kind. You are the greatest dad there ever was, and I can’t believe I get to have you. You are the reason I had such high standards for a spouse, and didn’t date a whole lot. I didn’t need anyone or anything to fill a gap. You always filled the space. You taught me what it means to follow God. You have always led me well. I have never once been left wondering if you love me or if I have made you proud. I can’t wait to see what life looks like in the next 10 years, and I can’t wait to see you be a grandpa.
I love Father’s Day. I love that having a good daddy is a tangible example of God’s love. I also know I am lucky, and that not everybody has a daddy like mine. To those of you who didn’t have a great dad or perhaps it’s a first Father’s Day without him, I hurt with you. I am sorry. I truly can’t imagine, but know that their are men in this world who want to love you and love you well. Kind men who want to sacrifice for you and want to take care of you, fight for you. Above all else is the love of God who has the most perfect love of a father that no earthly daddy can ever live up to. He is the ultimate father.
I am so thank for you, daddy. Happy Father’s Day.