To All The Dads Who Braid Hair

To All The Dads Who Braid Hair June 18, 2012

I hope all the dads out there had a great Father’s Day.  Here’s a snippet I wrote in Not Afraid of Life that nicely describes how awesome my dad is.

We didn’t love snowmachines just because they’re fun. We also loved them because we wanted to be like Dad, who was a real enthusiast! We’d do anything to spend time with him, even if it meant asking him for help in getting us ready for school. In fact, he learned how to do all of our hair while Mom was busy with city council politics. I remember very distinctively that he put my hair up in three cute little ponytails on the first day of preschool . Dad didn’t really know it looked kind of silly, but he had done it simply because that’s what I wanted. When my mom picked me up and saw those three ponytails—one on the right side of my head, one on the left, and one in the back—she just laughed.

Not only was it fun to see him look through our closets, shirt by shirt, he let us wear whatever we wanted … including hats. I loved to wear them, but not the cute kind that some parents put on their children for nice photos. No, I wore cowgirl hats, French berets, and ball caps to school. Though I looked absolutely ridiculous, Dad didn’t care. He also let me go to preschool wearing a flower girl dress I’d worn in my aunt and uncle’s wedding. Sounds cute until you realize I wore it with tights and my Nike Air Force 1’s.

Dad, not only can you braid Piper’s hair, you can also win the Iron Dog.

You are truly an amazing man, a loving father, and a hard-working man.  I can’t tell you how much I love you!

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  • I loved this post! You gotta love a man who’s strong enough to win the Iron Dog and tender enough to do his girls’ hair. Wish every daddy cared enough to win his daughters’ hearts.

  • robhart

    Loved this post, Bristol. You continue to show us all your very close knit loving family. Your posts reach deep into the soul and ask each time, “What is important?” In this post, the pigtails speak volumes to a father’s love for his daughter and the mutual respect for each to express freely. Thank you!

  • this is just wonderful! Your dad is awesome, loved watching him on the Alaska show, he rules! Reminds me a lot of my pop ^_^

  • Raffaela V. DiBella


  • Thomas Hubbard

    Thats nice that your dad braided your hair Bristol real sweet what a great guy. But I have to say Todd keep your hands off my hair and go ride your snowmachine!

  • joyce blackwell

    Wonderful post Bristol. I always imagine your Dad as a super smart guy who doesn’t have to brag it to the world. He quietly will get it done.

  • Grannie Annie

    Great story about your Dad. I too, write stories about my Dad, although he did not learn to braid hair, or ride a snow machine, he taught us great things that we apply to our everyday life today. Just as your Dad I am sure has done. Love your family! Thanks for your articles. Keep it up!! Grannie Annieinalaska

  • otlset

    Todd is a strong, responsible and masculine role model as head of the family, yet supportive, caring and even indulgent to those in his care as he steps in to do domestic chores while Sarah is away serving the public in office.

    • Patriot

      Me thinks otlset is projecting a bit.

      • otlset

        Yeah and you’ll notice it’s all positive too. You should try it sometime.

        • Patriot

          You know I did once back in the early 80’s and it just felt weird and I got kinda bored.

          • Sue

            And here i thought you were about twelve.

          • Patriot

            Wow great zinger sue!

  • A very loving message from a much-loved and grateful daughter. Happy Father’s Day to the First Dude!

    Switching now to the Mama Grizzly – An Open Convention is Still Possible – based on an RNC Counsel Memo.

  • Love this post Bristol so often we are told what to wear @ such a young tender age -love how he let you just be “you”! Yeah!

  • Tom Wiley

    I did my oldest daughters hair once. Now I’m not allowed to ever again…sigh. It’s tough being a dad and not being good at the same things as moms. 🙂 Love your Dad Bristol, it’s great to hear about real men for a change!

  • blackbird

    You’re lucky Bristol.

  • Doug

    Great blog Bristol ! Love you and your family . Wish your mom was pres. Tte USA would be in better shape.

  • Manette Porter

    This is so sweet…. My eyes watered up and got a lump in my throat…..Thank you Bristol… !!

  • Mary Cole

    Bristol, you are a delight! I LOVE reading your blogs! Keep ’em coming!

    I have so much love and respect for your entire family and pray for the LORD GOD to keep HIS arms around all of you! There are ever so many Palistas who feel the same way and are working and praying for your mom!!/groups/SP2012Earthquake/ and

    Blessings to all!

  • Kate

    Just caught this post, and I love it! This reminds me so much of my wonderful dad, who also loves snowmobiles and braided my hair. 🙂

  • Penny

    Now that’s a real man. Tough, yet still tender.

  • J

    You are a beautiful person with beautiful thoughts and a heart of love and compassion; and your parents are wonderful and inspiring in many ways too. God bless you all.

  • aaron krohn

    Love this post!!
    Would love to know Todd’s reaction when he read this!!
    (Would have brought ME to tears to have a daughter who loved me so much!!!)

    I read your book when it first came out, so may have forgotten the details of this, but my favorite part in the book about your dad was the time he practiced “tough love” on you.
    You’d had some BIG crisis/problem in your life, and you drove from Anchorage to go home for some “tea and sympathy”.
    But Todd came outside to meet you driving up in your truck.
    He did NOT allow you to come home!!
    He told you to drive AWAY!!!!
    Again, I saw this as an expression of “tough love”, and THAT made Todd an even BETTER dad than I’d previously thought he was!!!
    Happy (belated) Father’s Day, Todd!!!
    And bless you, Bristol, for being such a GREAT daughter……and person!!!!

  • bellagrazi

    Your dad truly is an amazing man, Bristol. He’s a good husband, a great father and has a great work ethic. And he loves to play as hard as he works. He’s what all men should aspire to.

  • Great post. Very sweet. 🙂

  • CJ

    Hi Bristol 🙂
    What a sweet testimony about your dad! He has some pretty awesome qualities and it’s easy to see why you love him so much. You are abundantly BLESSED to have such a loving, supportive, close family 🙂

  • Paulette

    Bristol, your dad certainly should have been the First Dude because he would have been great! (As your mom would have been a terrific VP!) Love it when dads spend time with their daughter/s, as mine did with me (and still does at the age of 86), and my husband does with his daughter, now your age. God bless you!!!

  • Paulette

    P.S. Praying that one day your dad WILL be the First Dude!!! 🙂

  • falling

    Bristol, thanks for sharing! Both of your parents are such wonderful people…and I wish I had known not to sweat the small things when my children were so little. Life is not about whether or not your kindergartener is the best dressed in the class, it is about her feeling like she is the best dressed!

  • I have four daughters Michelle,Jennifer,Sara and Denette ,All grown now but we still have that closeness that ties us all as one…

    • But where the real tie is with my 17 grandchildren and three greats…/ ~ !

  • Susan

    You want to make me puke. you are an uneducated girl from a mostly uneducated family with a child & a child’s Father who almost stole your virginity? Milk it Bristol for all it is worth. In 15 years your son may not like you for all the trash you said against his Dad to make a buck.

    • otlset

      Yes please do puke and get that nasty bile out of your system before it comes steaming out of your ears. Good grief what a harpy.

    • Emma Lora

      Susan, I can’t help but wonder why you are so full of undigested loveless feelings. Jealousy does not help your problem. Hope you find some answers to your problems.

  • Susan

    Where is any mention of Tripps Father on Fathers day. You could not extend an olive branch to him? Oh yea, you have been promoting your show about how bad Levi is. Your Mother & Father evidently approved of you dating the son of a now convicted drug dealer when “Sarah” said you two were getting married.

    • otlset

      Sounds like Susan here would be a good match for Levi. Give him a call, you might get lucky!

      • Truth101

        Susan will have to wait inline. Old Ricky Hollywood has another one on the way.

    • Truth101

      Tripp’s father is living in his mom’s basement with the second girl he knocked up. I don’t think Tripp is on that deadbeat’s mind.

    • Sue

      Levi falls more under the catagory of s–rm donor than dad. Maybe that is why. Why would Bristol extend an olive branch to a loser that has repeatedly lied and trashed her family- even when they tried to show mercy.

    • Charley

      How sad Susan sounds! What a pathetic, angry soul. The most she can think of is to hate someone for saying they love their father. Makes me wonder what Susan’s father did to her to make her react so bitterly to the love of a daughter for her dad. Susan: get help, dear. You and your children need it.

  • Susan

    Bristol you are a child who bought into the BS. Your sister Willow seems much more grounded & I hope she does not follow your path. As you say as you crying, “do not leave me”. Willow has not made your mistakes & if she is smart she will distance herself from you because you are not good influence.

    • otlset

      Lay off the bath salts Susan, it could be dangerous.

    • Truth101

      Leave Willlow out of it Mommy dearie.

  • stacy

    dads–in spite of our stepping stones of “out of the accepted choices” that is frowned upon by the the acceptance of some others on choices — intellect-heart-spirit ..can’t take away those three things– praise God for that dad or whomever loves us-encourages us–and with dad’s or another’s cheerleading–we -you-or i make the difference–running the race–grateful for your blog

  • David Dempsey

    Bristol, nice Photo of your Dad and Mom. —- Ignore Susan’s comments – she is just jealous of your success. Or maybe her Dad is a Drug Dealer and she is a Drug Addict, and she can’t stand normal people. (ha)

  • Love this photo both Mr. and Mrs. Palin share a happy moment.

  • Barbara Landi

    Real men can braid their daughters’ hair! We love your Dad as well as your Mom, and your wonderful family

  • Dennis McHale

    It was a pleasure to shake your dad’s hand and look him in the eye. Truly a gentleman with the pioneer spirit that has made this country great. You got a great Dad, and not everyone is so lucky, but that is why you and your family are the BEST!!!

  • Michele W.

    So great…not surprised by his wealth of skills! Ha ha! Love the picture of those two. They are great examples of supporting and truly loving one another. You are lucky to have them, and they are lucky to have you too. xoxoxo

  • Rosali Elzig

    What’s matter with that Susan and those others?? There is a place in Hell for them! By the way Bristol…I’m just finishing that chapter in your book about your dad’s braiding Piper hair. I just got the book and started reading it. Can you sign it? if so,i will leave it with sally. Let me know. Thanks. God bless you and your family.

  • Lonnie Webb

    Nicely said. You’re a good daughter! My kids have outgrown their daddy and the good things done for them. You and your family are special people. Hang on to all those memories and use them to power wash away the things that get in the way between you and your Pa.

  • Terrenceor

    That is funny. I take great delight in having my creative 7 year old daughter pick out her own clothes to wear when mom is not there to direct.

  • Rhonda

    Bristol, I have prayed for you from the first moment that I heard your mother was running with Senator McCain as his VP. I prayed that God would cover you and your siblings with much cover. I also prayed His will be done for you. Sometimes the refining is so painful but oh so necessary. Please continue to bless your parents as you are doing and to allow the Great Refiner to make of you the lovely vessel He has envisioned you to be!

  • My dad passed away a few years ago. There was an old song that was an old song even when I was young, “O my papa, to me he was so wonderful. O my papa, to me he was so good.” You can find an Eddie Fisher version on YouTube. Be nice to the ones you love while you have them around, because the day will come when they are no longer here (unless you are gone first – even worse).

  • WobblyWastrel

    Susan…you really should take your anti-psychotic meds BEFORE you start posting on someone’s blog. JMHO! =:o]

  • kayla

    Bristol, you are amazing doll! This story is too cute!

  • Mary

    Just love this family!!!!