A simple thank you just doesn’t cut it here. Fathers everywhere – there is such a long list that we wish to thank you for, and I’ll start it here. Every family should add their own addendums as they see fit.
Thank you, Dad, for being the man of the house. It is not always a fun job – with the plumbing emergencies, cleaning out the garage, coming to save your daughters from spiders and other creepy crawlies. But you are our hero.
Thank you, Dad, for knowing when to be the strong firm protector, and then switching to gentle Daddy to allay our fears. For chasing away the imaginary monsters, and for endlessly and persistently trying to protect us from the real ones. For making us feel safe and secure at all times so we can sleep easy, and for sleeping at the foot of our beds waiting for the monsters to come crawling out so you can scare them away.
Thank you, Dad, for even though you are big and tough, you sit down to have tea parties with your daughters and read stories of fairylands and princesses. You have, on occasion, worn tutus and tiaras and perhaps even pink nailpolish. It takes a real man to do that for his daughters.
Thank you for being rough and tumble with the boys, but somehow always without harm coming to them. Thank you for teaching them to stand up for themselves, but that violence is not a way to peace. Thank you for teaching them to be strong, but to cry when they are sad or hurt, and to always be gentle with girls.
Thanks for being the role model of balance between home and work, and for showing us that never ever is work more important than family, even if work does take you away from your family more often than you’d like.
Thank you for leaving the house to go to work to provide for us so we can have a house, books, new shoes, food, and toys.
We are so grateful for what you provide that is not material in nature: fun times, security, a deep booming voice, tackle football, water fights, the best bedtime stories, adventurous road trips, and soul talks. For the little things we did not know but now love to reflect on as “wisdom my father taught me”.
For teaching me to swim.
For teaching me to dive headfirst and embrace the excitement as I splash into a new medium.
For knowing all the answers to Trivia questions and saying them out loud – sitting on the sidelines - while we are in the middle of playing the game.
For the strong and ever-present shoulder to cry on.
For your firmness. For your unwaveringness.
For the candies under our pillow, for all the toothfairy messages, and the spontaneous treats that you couldn’t stop yourself from giving to us…even if it was chocolate before 8AM.
For your strength to watch as we make our own mistakes and then be there with a quiet talk about life lessons when we come home feeling defeated.
For teaching us work ethic. That enjoying what you do is as important as how well you do it.
For teaching us that fun is a priority, not a luxury to be saved for later or put off.
For taking time out to teach us to enjoy the simple things in life, and to never take anything in life for granted.
Thank you for being my role model of a good son, a loyal husband, and a wonderful father.
For sitting on the floor shooting marbles.
For coaching my little league.
For holding my hand when I was scared to cross the road on my own, and for knowing when to let go.
For coming to my nursery school birthday party, my nursery school graduation, my kindergarten birthday party, my kindergarten graduation, my ballet recital, my karate tournament, my soccer practice, my elementary school graduation, my parent teacher conferences, my high school graduation, my college graduation, and for walking me down my aisle as you did the hardest thing you ever had to do: let me go so that another man could be that man in my life.
Know, Dad, that no matter what, no matter when, no matter how old I am, or how far away I live, no matter how great a husband I have, you will always be my Dad - and my hero.
Happy Father’s Day.