You’ve been a father for over thirty years now, and you’ve been mine for 27. But fatherhood for you never seemed to be a ‘craft’ that needed honing, or a skill that took practice. Of any man I’ve ever known, I would say you must have been born to be the perfect dad. I cannot remember a time that you did not know exactly what to say or do, and I am able to say with absolute certainty that my father truly does know everything.
Growing up, you taught me the meaning of duty and responsibility. I’ve never known a more selfless person than you. You give your best in your job, to your family, and to your community. Yours was a message of compassion and generosity, as I watched you devote your time to parent groups at school and volunteering at church. You solve problems, fix broken plumbing, landscape, paint and recycle. You are the perfect man and the solid foundation of our happy family. And while being the best father I could ever imagine, you also remain a devoted son and brother, and a caring friend.
You are a giant among men in my world.
Thank you for teaching me, ever patiently, how to drive. Thank you for your stern compassion when I forgot what you taught me and crashed my car for the first time. Thank you for insisting I review the directions and maps before I drove anywhere unfamiliar, and thank you for you patient guidance when I called, lost, for the hundredth time – knowing I had ignored you, but helping me out without a single “I told you so”. Thank you for showing me how to balance my checkbook, and attempting to teach me financial responsibility. And thank you for bailing me out, with a hundred dollars here or there, when I failed to follow your advice. I know I always promised to pay you back, and I know I only sometimes really did. Again, thank you.
Thank you for allowing me to make mistakes, but teaching me to take responsibility for them. Thank you for giving me rules, curfews, and for always expecting me to achieve my best. Thank you for not giving me $5 for every “A” on my report card, but for raising me to be intrinsically motivated to do well in school (though external motivators like a prodigy older brother probably contributed to this as well). Speaking of my prodigy older brother- thank you, dad, for never making me feel as though I was not good enough or did not meet up to your expectations for me. I have issues, but confidence in my own abilities is not one of them.
Thank you for helping me move four times. Thank you for reminding me to make my student loan payment, or change my oil. Thank you for taking care of me and helping me whenever I need it, but thank you for treating me like an adult and genuinely respecting my choices (even when they are wrong).
Thank you for offering advice when I need it, and supportive silence when I need that more. Though I have attempted, here, to express through words the many ways in which I am eternally grateful to you, it will never be enough. I love you, and hope that this Father’s Day you know how important you are to everyone around you, and most especially, to me.
Your only daughter,
My daddy- who loves me & all my weirdness.