My dad is a loyal Mother’s Circle reader, another example of how he supports me.
So I’m delivering a special thank you to my dad for Father’s Day right here.
I’ve always told you that I love you and I still shower you generously with “I love yous.” I hope you really know what is behind those words and how very much I love you.
Growing up, you could always make me feel special. You would ask me to go for a ride and we’d talk in the car, you’d take me out to breakfasts where you’d check in on my life and I still cherish the memory of those times alone together, just the two of us. I even recall with a smile the breakfast on that family vacation after the night I got in big trouble; I was worried when we sat down, but left knowing I was loved despite questionable judgement.
As a teenager, when I was still creating my self image and figuring out boys and emotions, I felt happy when you’d pay me a compliment. You did it sparingly so I knew it was always genuine. All dressed up to go out with friends, you’d say, “Hey, you look cute!” and I would leave the house feeling confident because of those words, because my dad noticed me and was proud of me.
Even today, I glow inside when you tell me you’re proud of me. It still means everything to have your approval and I glow in your praise. It matters to me that you see me as a good mom and wife, it matters to me that you care about and take an interest in the things I do and the work I pursue.
So many times in my teens I was angry at you; I felt you didn’t “get it” or were unfair but as an adult, I get it now and I’m sorry for all my freshness – rest assured, I’m getting my pay back. I am lucky to have had your tough rules and guidance and I can appreciate your (mostly) fair judgements calls, a few I could still debate.
There were many nights when I asked for math homework help and Mom would scoot off to another room awaiting the storm. You see math so naturally, and everything mathematical is a challenge to me so the combination often caused frustration for us both. I can laugh now at those teary tutorial sessions and I can thank you for pushing me to stick with my business degree and to get through all that painful upper level calculating and accounting. Here it is: YOU WERE RIGHT.
Later, when I got married, you pulled Nick right into the family as another son. Through the years, I’ve loved watching you two build, re-build and creatively work together on countless projects; I’ve loved watching you laugh together, joke as corn-hole partners or discuss some more serious issue. My dad and my husband, friends.
After each of my babies was born, you were there. As I became a mom, and a mom again and again, I still needed my own dad and mom by my side. Thank you for being there.
I base so much of what I do as a parent on how you and Mom raised us. When I find myself in a new parenting situation or wondering how to handle something with our kids, I think back and refer to my upbringing. Often that helps me find the answer or helps me put things into perspective.
I could not be more grateful that my kids are growing up to know you and love you; it makes me so happy that you have the relationships you do with them. Thank you for guiding them as you did me. Thank you for treasuring them, spoiling them, helping them and kicking them in the butt when they need it, just like you did for me.
Thank you for suffering through hours upon hours of talent shows, concerts, choruses, games, and plays to see the kids for their few moments. You being there isn’t just important to them, but it’s important to me, too.
As an adult, I still turn to you for advice and support in so many things. You’re the person I want to call when I have a business question, the person I turn to for negotiating tips and investing strategies. We may not always agree on things, but I respect your input and experience and I want to know your opinions.
Thank you for working so hard and giving me a good life. When I look back on my childhood, I feel nothing but gratitude and love. I always knew I was loved. You and Mom gave us the gift of confidence and self-love and those are invaluable no matter where we go in life. Thank you.
Thank you for the experiences and education you provided. Thank you for building a solid, happy family for us and for teaching us to stand up for ourselves, to believe in ourselves, to set goals and to strive for more. Thank you for the mistakes you made for those taught us lessons, too.
Even though I’m no longer a little girl with innocent eyes, I still look up to you, Dad, and still believe that you’re the best Daddy in the whole wide world.
I love you.
Happy Father’s Day!
[I realized in searching for photos for this post that I have pictures with Nick and my dad, with my mom and my dad, with my kids and my dad ... but none I could find with ME and my dad. Tomorrow, we're going to change that!]