"I was born in a prison and found in the cornfields!" says John Charles Bowman. Whenever he tells these stories, I always laugh. He's a great narrator. It's in his blood. The Bowman side of the family comes from the mountains, and as anyone from the Appalachians will tell you, they are the best storytellers.
I love my dad. Ever since I was born, I've been a daddy's girl. Not that I love him any more than I do my mom, but we're more alike than her. We understand each other. And I have his eyes.
We both share a love and talent for writing, reading, politics, and history. The rest of my family doesn't understand this, but my dad and I would rather spend a day at Barnes & Nobles than at the mall. My friends think it's bizarre for me to like politics so much. I basically beg for intellectual conversation. While I want to argue about the war, they want to gossip about relationships and the opposite sex. Sometimes I get this feeling of isolation, because I didn't know John was going out with Jane until they broke up. But that blows over when John and Jane have no clue who Colin Powell is. I'd much rather be informed on these issues than mere social "complexities". This all comes from my dad.
Before I was born, the doctors told my parents I was going to be a boy. My dad was thrilled - I was going to be named after him. He would have been so excited to see John Charles Bowman II written on a birth certificate. He was most eager about me being a football player, though.
So when I came into this world, he said, "So is he going to be a quarterback?" The nurse replied, "She isn't a boy, but she's big enough to be a quarterback!" (I weighed nine pounds and seven ounces.) My dad didn't care. He picked me up and named me Jennifer Christine. I was the first baby that he ever held.
I used to wonder if he ever regretted me because of my gender. Even with the constant reassurances, I still didn't fully believe him. One day when I asked him about it, he told me it didn't matter that I wasn't a boy at birth - because when he saw me, I was the most beautiful thing he'd ever seen. And that's pretty reassuring.
Father's Day is on June 15th. I won't see my dad then, because I'll be interning for The National Right to Life Organization with my Uncle Randy up in D.C. So dad, for all the wonderful things you've done for me - thank you. You mean so much to me. I love you Daddy!