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LatinitasMagazine.org - A Strong Voice for Latina Youth

The title for this could really be long, if I put all of my father's names. I call him Dad, Daddy, Papa, Pa, Man, Mr. Man, Señor, Dude, Padre, Señor Luis, and others that I probably don't even remember now. I am definitely a daddy's girl, and since I am his only daughter, I don't have to share that title. Sure, I used to beg for a sister, but now I am happy to be the only daughter.

My dad was 36 when he had his first child and 40 when he had his last, so I grew up with a father that was older in years than most of my friends, but I never really knew it. (Except when people would ask me why my grandpa would pick me up from school. Or when people we met at stores told my dad that his grandkids were cute.) But my dad always seemed to have an abundance of energy. We would go camping every summer to fish and swim and water ski. We all had dirt bikes and we would drive out to the middle of the desert for the day and ride as fast as our bikes would take us. He bought us a pool table and explained the rules of geometry and how to use them to beat our opponent. He went to all of our soccer, baseball, basketball and football games, and my tennis matches, and that was after he took us to the batting cages to perfect our swings.

He was always teaching us. I was the only girl of all my friends who knew how to check the oils in my car and change my tire. I also knew how to do several Navy rope knots (he served in Vietnam). He taught us how electricity works, the basic rules of real estate, how duct tape can fix almost anything, and how to drive his huge van that takes up most of the road! My dad taught me the really valuable lessons too. Like about getting along with others, how to be responsible, and about God. He's a pretty amazing guy.

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