When I was 16, my dad was over excited to customize my license plate with my childhood nickname… Roos. Derived from its root word – Mandaroos, my 1987 gray Nissan Sentra hatchback was highly recognizable and proudly displayed a name my dad still calls me to this day. At first, the idea of driving Roos was absurd, however it quickly grew on me. My dad went out of his way to do something special, something memorable, and so it meant a lot to me and of course became the source of many high school stories.
More importantly, this brought a smile to my dad’s face. He created something especially for me. This was nothing new. When I was four he listened to my crocodile tears asking for “purple carpet”, when I was eight he taught me about the Easter Bunny, and in my twenties he showed me the definition of selfless love. Today, he remains one of my best friends, and a source for conversation, inspiration, and comfort.
Dad’s are extraordinary. My dad is no exception, and either is yours. When a man becomes a father, there is no instruction manual. Everything in the world changes, as a tiny human is dependent on its parents to grow and become self-sufficient in the vast world. Dad’s may give up motorcycles, softball games, and their dreams of becoming a pilot to give it all to their children and watch them succeed.
Dads become superheroes in a child’s mind. Dad’s wake up, put on their work costume, and leave the house. A child anticipates a dad coming home in the evening for dinner, play, or to be tucked in. It’s those precious moments where a dad makes it count. My father worked many hours, and traveled a bit in my childhood, to always be sure that he provided my brothers and I with opportunities to attend basketball camp or dance conventions, but it was the time he made for us that created the legend in our hearts.
It is amazing to have watched my brothers take on the role of “Dad”, and my dad take on the role of “Grandpa”. Just as my father touched our souls in our childhood, my brothers have grown into selfless men who would give anything for their children. All examples to me about the meaning of life and what “Dad” means.
Dad’s are there to discipline, to teach you respect for your mother, to shoot hoops in the backyard. To burn the chicken on the grill, for Pepsi runs, and to teach the life lessons only a father can. Dad’s have your back, pick you up when are down, and take you for donuts or milkshakes. Dad’s often forget to ask for directions, and there is always a better spot further down for a picnic or beach time. Dad’s get grumpy and want quietness, and they want laughter and playtime. Dad’s and Grandpa’s teach us how to play, and photobomb selfies. Dad’s have their thing that means the most to you, and dad’s have a special bond and/or memory with each of their children.
My dad is a gift. His story unique, and I am forever grateful to be his daughter. I am daddy’s little girl and I will always be – although my nieces may have him wrapped around their fingers a lot more these days. My father took me on my first airplane ride. He created the “I wanna go kid”, or perhaps that was always in me. He has always encouraged me to follow my dreams and listen to my intuition. He has been there to drive across the country with me, to fly me home at a moment’s notice, and to listen when all I needed to do was cry. We’ve created a thousand business ideas. He is one of my best friends, as is my mom, and yet their roles are different.
My dad protects me, fixes things when they are broken, and shows his disappointment when he knows I need to see it. He sings Frank Sinatra with me, rocks out to country, and sometimes chooses bad movies. The one thing my dad is, is constant.
All the gifts and “things” of the world cannot compare to time with my dad, because he is the greatest gift, and I am proud to be my father’s daughter. The stubbornness, the work ethic, and the wordsmith blessings, all part of who my father is. My gift back to my dad this year is a summer filled with milkshakes, grilling out, golf, Pepsi, and inspiring new dreams and hope together. I won’t make it home in time for Father’s Day on Sunday, however this summer is the summer of celebrating dad and all he does, has done, and continues to do for all of us.
Thank you dad for your love, your belief, and being the legend that helps me know that I deserve the best. Thank you for showing my brothers how to be men and superheroes to their own families. Thank you for being someone I can call at any moment and trust you will pick up.
Thank you dad for being you, and thank you for allowing me to fly.
Happy Father’s Day to you, and to all the dad’s in the world.