I am a Daddy’s Girl through and through, but let me clarify what that means to me.

My dad and I are best buddies, off-the-map travellers in tandem, in search of the perfect chip truck, joy seekers in the strangest of pursuits (like our rare brand of hard, stinky cheesies), and partners in the occasional harmless crime (Mom will never know about those speeding tickets, Dad. I’ve got your back.).

I am most grateful to have been blessed with a father who has taught me hard lessons about life, love and the pursuit of french fries.

If you’ll allow, I’d like to impart some of his wisdom in a list I call, “Things I Learned From My Dad:”

– your mother is always right. Fear is a survival technique. Don’t argue;

– mustard is much more than a condiment; it is a necessity;

– women in the workforce are every bit as competent as their male counterparts (just ask the women my Dad hired on to a crew of men);

– watch the horse before it goes into the gate and never tell anyone what horse you are betting;

– the road less travelled probably has some really great views and no radar;

– the voice of the GPS system in the car is there to argue with you. Mess with it. You’re right; it is wrong (see above);

– an education is not a waste of money, but it is more valuable if you pay for it yourself (a clever way to get me to pay tuition);

– money isn’t everything. Do what you love, and the money will come eventually. If it doesn’t, don’t ask me for a loan, I’m spending your inheritance;

– your career goal should be to golf and get paid for it;

– a chip truck is only as good as its last crunchy french fry at the bottom of the cardboard tray;

– poker is a life skill. Pay attention to the “tell” sign. Everybody has one.

– sometimes loyalty means loving yourself enough to walk away from toxic situations. Keep walking forward and don’t cast stones;

– your middle finger is also a turn signal;

– short people should be jockeys. You should have been shorter;

– children are great. Grandchildren are better. Deal with it;

– dream big but get real. Nothing comes without hard work;

– if you signed up, show up;

– at the end of the day, you have to live with your choices, so you better like yourself;

– a man who doesn’t respect you doesn’t deserve you. Real men don’t hit, cheat or lie. They don’t have to; and

– love isn’t in what we say; it’s in everything we do.

Yes, my dad is full of pearls of wisdom; some he says, some he just teaches by example. He is also the genetic source of my weird feet, small stature, kidney stones and ridiculous sense of humour. What more can a girl ask for?

All kidding aside, I honestly believe the world would be a better place if all the men who made babies had the courage and the compassion to raise them. It takes both. Every child deserves that much.

So thanks, dad. You can buy the next round of french fries. I’ll drive.