I'll be the first to admit that I'm a daddy's girl through and through. It's not that I don't adore my mother, she's my best friend. There's just something comforting about a father, especially to a daughter.
Ultimately, I am my father in a 16-year-old girl's body. Ask us a question and you'll receive a sarcastic answer, try to talk politics and we'll be on a rampage about fiscal liberalism for a good 10 minutes or look through our iTunes to find a shocking resemblance.
Good ole' pops has taught me the value of hard work and the importance of integrity when you work. As long as I can remember, when I walk into my dad's work, his employees happily greet him and I'm told what a good man he is.
Even without being an outwardly emotional man, just being around him is comforting. No matter what kind of teenage angst is currently plaguing me, he can make me giggle with his offhanded and dry sense of humor.
Although his ability to lighten the mood is possibly one of my favorite traits, he's taught me much more. When I think of my dad, I think of a provider. In my eyes, my father is the epitome of courage and would do anything for his family.
I've only seen my dad cry once in sixteen years and no matter how bad things are, he's excellent at putting on a brave face for us. His strength and character are things I only hope I can come close to achieving in my lifetime.
Another thing my father is incredibly skilled at is constructive criticism. When I need to be brought back down to Earth, he's the first to tell me, but always adds that he's only letting me know because he loves me. When I do something well, he's the first to praise me for it.
I've been completely molded as a person because of that man. His pick-yourself-up-and-dust-off mentality, witty nature and protective personality have impacted me in such an enormous way.
From my T-Ball super stardom to my less fortunate softball years, he's been on the sidelines cheering me on. Although I'm not sure he quite understands the rules of tennis, you can bet he's always up for going to hit on the courts with me, only after a warning that I'll be 'schooled by an old man'.
Even though many fathers lean toward pride in athleticism, my dad's happy with anything I do. When my articles were first published in the newspaper, they were circulated throughout his building the next day.
When I was interviewing for CNN's Leadership Unplugged summer program, the whole ride to Georgia Tech was full of interviewing tips and speeches to try and calm my nerves. About a month later, my acceptance letter came and I was out with a friend. He called me and I answered, shocked to hear him sounding dejected. "Morgan, I'm sorry to tell you...your CNN letter came. Turns out, you won't be at home the week of your camp! You made it! I'm so proud of you," he boasted.
No matter what I'm working on, he's behind me 100%. When I was selling coffee to raise money to go to Washington D.C., he took my flier to work and did the distributing without a single complaint.
My daddy is my absolute favorite man in the universe and he always will be. Everyone who’s around him for even a short time appreciates his unspoken grace and strong sense of hard work and morals. I've been so blessed to have such an incredible man as my father.
Happy birthday, Daddy.
Morgan Scarboro is a student at Apalachee High School and a contributing columnist for the Barrow Journal. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.