I’ve found myself more and more regularly giving up Friday night hangouts and Saturday night parties, for my Dad.
Crazy, I know, to read that a 16-year-old would pick her old man over the undying need to fit in at school and fit in at life, for that matter.
But I’ve always made space for my dad.
It’s inevitable and more importantly, it’s my choice.
He’s been vital to my growth, not only as a sports-lover, but as a writer and a person too.
My Dad is someone I’ll always be making space for.
From birth, I’ve been a Daddy’s girl; constantly doing what Dad does, following all of his teams and following him too.
Winters consist of Power House, dad’s amateur footy club, where he played 300 games and now is the president.
As a young girl, I would be my father’s shadow, following his every move, doing as he did, learning as he lead from the front.
These days, we are at Power House together, but, as I have learnt from him, I am independent. The roles I once copied are now my own. And it’s because of him that I’ve steadied myself as a headstrong young woman.
These winter weekends were also filled with Geelong, our team.
The drives down the highway created memories I now look back on fondly. We sang every football song under the sun, feeling at peace with where we were in the moment. Our moment.
Every time I hear those songs, my mind takes me back to the simpler times, where life was as big as the end of my street and trips to Geelong felt like lifetimes away. I go back and reminisce on the time I had, just me, Dad and a game to go to.
Conversely, these days I have found myself (as a learner driver) actually driving my Dad down to Geelong!
Discussions are still the same however, and we talk about the game we are going to, SEN rambling in the background as we recollect the football songs etched into our souls, making up the fabric of our existence.
It’s the same because it’s our time, but it’s different, because conversations go deeper than football and the melodies surrounding it. Dad reminds me that life is larger than the two hours battled out on the field and that making space for the ones you love is indispensable.
When summer rolls around, we are seated next to each other at the MCG, sharing the infamous MCC Roast Beef Rolls as we watch our cricket dreams ignite or crumble before our very eyes.
Cricket, more recently has opened a big space, just waiting to be filled with a Father and Daughter sharing the account of heroes gone by and predicting a history yet to be made.
It provides a different opportunity, to spend a whole day just sitting, analysing and talking about the way the ball bounces and the shared hatred of the visiting team (it could be anyone, we’ll still despise them!), but also life and core values and emotions. Dad seems to be really good at maintaining that balance.
In recent times, I’ve noticed that a lot of girls struggle to make a connection with their fathers, especially throughout their teenaged years.
It’s never been an issue for me.
In fact, the connection I have with my dad is something I’m extremely fond of.
And we have sport to thank for that.
I look at sport as a way to communicate life, stories, advice and most importantly, a way to learn about each other.
It’s a way of asking ‘are you okay?’ or ‘how’s school treating you?’
It’s a way to tell stories, through sport and teach life lessons through experiences had watching footy or cricket, or any sport, for that matter.
It’s a way to find time for my Dad, and my Dad to find time for me.
And even though we’re both busy and only getting busier, I know that I’ll always have a space in my life for my Dad. Whether it be a weekend in Geelong, a day at the Cricket or even a chat about a new story.
And I’m glad Dad has a space for me too.