An Open Letter To My Dad On Father’s Day…
As I sit here, reminiscing about my childhood, so many memories swirl around. There are the tickle-wars, where you would “unleash the CLAW” and tickle my brother and I until we either screamed “MERCY!” or “I’m gonna pee!!!!” There are the rubber-band-wars in the living room, everyone darting around trying to take cover while simultaneously getting our targets. I remember cuddling up in your arms after a busy day, ready to fall asleep. The memories are great, and how they keep on coming. But, dad… they aren’t JUST memories, because with each one, you’ve taught me so much… and these lessons will forever be with me. Thank you for that.
Dad, you taught me stillness and steadiness in the middle of the woods, stretched out on a blanket all clothed in camouflage waiting for the perfect shot.
You taught me that it didn’t matter which skills I was born with – that skills were meant to be developed when you took my lanky little self into the basement and on the driveway to practice for hours dribbling a basketball.
You taught me perseverance when I wanted to quit basketball after my first practice of suicide runs and you told me I had to finish the season.
Because of you, dad, I have a quirky sense of humor. Because of you, I’ve learned to laugh even when things threaten to make me cry. You are the man who walked into a room full of my friends to pick me up with bright green short shorts and two ringed tube socks, each a different color and height. I hope I never forget that moment. Because, dad, in that moment… you taught me what it looks like when you love yourself enough to be confident and not second guess everything. In that moment, you showed me what it looks like to not regret who you are.
When I was a kid, and you taught me to “convince “ you, you taught me analytical and problem-solving skills. I remember bouncing through the room as a little kid with puppy dog costumes, trying to convince you how much we NEEDED a puppy (You also taught me determination when you pretended to not see us!). And, as a teenager, when I wanted something different, I learned how to weigh the benefits vs. costs and how to best present information. I learned how to debate… you taught me when to stand up for myself, and when it was also appropriate to stand down.
Because of you, I had a dad who I know loved me. Because of you, I had a dad who made a genuine effort in “being there” for my games and activities. I had a man who rooted and cheered for me – someone who was present in my life.
As a little girl, I watched you. And, as a woman and parent today, I know that so much of that watching resulted in who I am today. When I watched you stand up for something you believed in (or believed against), regardless of the repercussions it might bring against you… I learned. When I watched you be honest with someone, even when it meant accepting blame and anger… I learned.
Dad, you taught me the importance of values and morals. You taught me to respect my elders. You helped teach me faith, and you were/are such a big part of it. You taught me the value of working hard and never giving up. You taught me that the easiest choice isn’t always the best choice. You taught me to think like an entrepreneur – that it was better to build your own dream than someone else’s. (Which quite possibly ruined me for typical “jobs” – but, that’s okay – I’d rather build my own dream any ol’ day!) You taught me to love learning and books. You taught me to love others. And, myself.
Today, I’m no longer the little girl, my entire hand grasped around your one finger as I scramble to make my steps keep up with yours. I am a woman, a wife, and a mother. But, one thing will never change… You’ll always be my daddy, and I, your girl. I am so thankful that God chose you to be my daddy and one of the grandfathers for my own “babies.”
Daddy, I want you to know how thankful I am for you, each and every day. I guess, if you were to get one thing from this letter, I want you to know how much I love and adore you – how much you mean to me and my family.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad.
I love you,