I love to rank things.
I have a list I carry in my mind with my top 10 favorite movies, a list of my favorite songs and a list of my sports.
It’s in my mind, because it’s a revolving list. People sometimes ask, “What’s your favorite sport?” And the true answer is, “What season is it?” If it’s baseball season, baseball is my favorite sport. Basketball season? Same!
Songs are the same way. There are probably 100 different songs that have been in my top five list at different times.
When it comes to picking a favorite, I usually have no issues with that.
There is one area that I can’t pick a favorite – my kids!
All three at times are my favorites – and at times, they can move to the bottom of the list.
The fact that all three are blessings, who I love equally is an important thing to clarify, because I want to take this (post) Father’s Day edition of “By George” to talk about my oldest daughter.
Dakota came into my life a little different than my other two kids did.
I was in a bad place, doing bad things and coming out of a relationship that broke my heart.
The brokenness had me at a place where I was really done with relationships for a while, but I remember saying a prayer.
It wasn’t an on my knees, oh help me prayer – it was more of a breath prayer and at that time in my life, I couldn’t have even told you who I was praying to.
There was a down moment and I said these words, “Lord, I want you to send me a beautiful blonde, to love me unconditionally! Is that too much to ask?”
Expecting that request to fall on deaf ears, I started to pull myself out of the rut I was in. I started to really focus on me. Football season was coming to an end, I had put some blonde in my hair (this was back when I had hair) and was working out and tanning on a regular basis.
My mom and sister-in-law owned and operated a business called “Winning Touch” and I would periodically stop in to visit.
I distinctly remember one day in particular just like it was yesterday – it was the day cupid shot me with his arrow.
Tonya, who would later become my wife and the love of my life, had the most adorable strawberry blonde baby sitting next to her. I always liked kids, but I have to admit on that day I showed the baby a little more attention than I normally would so I could be close to and flirt with mom!
Later that night I mentioned to my sister-in-law that I thought Tonya was attractive and going on a date with her would be something I wouldn’t mind doing.
As fate (and a sister-in-law) would have it, we went on a date, and then another, and then several more and before I knew it we were talking til death do us part type stuff.
Dakota was only three months old when Tonya and I started dating and while I hated it for her that her dad wasn’t very involved in her life, I was happy to take on that role.
Fast forward a few years and Tonya and I found our true purpose in this world when we decided to give our lives to Jesus.
There was a day when I started to look back on my life and how I ended up where I was, I remembered being in my car and praying that breath prayer.
I thought about Tonya and her brown hair and kind of chuckled and said out-loud, “You kind of missed that one God!” That’s about that time Dakota walked in the room and climbed in my lap and it hit me.
One of those big warm tears ran down my face as I realized God had answered that prayer. There I was all those years later with this little blonde sitting in my lap, loving me unconditionally.
In 2016, the soon to be senior in high school (I refuse to call her a senior until school starts) gets frustrated with me as most daughters do with their dads, but there has never been a second in all these years where I doubted that she loves me!
God blessed me with the opportunity to be dad to two more very special kids, Emily and George IV. All three are about the best Father’s Day present a guy could ask for.
I get goose bumps thinking about how God picked me to be their dad and for them to be my kids.
It makes my heart smile to think about asking Him to send me a beautiful blonde about the time Tonya was in the hospital giving birth to Dakota.
There is no ranking system in my life, but when someone asked recently “What’s the best Father’s Day present you’ve ever gotten?”
I thought for a minute and remembered all the things the kids had made me over the years and then it hit me, “An answered prayer!”
Send me your cool Father’s Day story at