Happy Father’s Day, Dad!
My dad is the definition of a provider to my mom, my siblings, myself, and so many other people. And I don’t just mean a monetary provider; he is a provider of good advice, a helping hand, and a great laugh.
I can honestly say that my dad is a main reason for every single thing I’ve accomplished in life. He has worked tirelessly before and throughout my 23 years of life to make sure that I had the ability to pursue many endeavors.
But more importantly, he worked with me to make sure that I succeeded in those endeavors. Whether it was teaching me how to ride that new pink bicycle he bought me when I was a kid, or giving me feedback on one of the many things I’ve written, my dad was always there for support. If not for him, I’d be nothing.
When I look back and think about how fortunate I am to have a father who has always been so actively involved in my life, I know I’m one of the lucky ones.
He was always my go-to guy when it came to writing and academics – a really smart man who, although not the most talkative, always had something meaningful to say.
I remember the grueling intervals of studying for spelling tests in elementary school and how adamant my dad was about me being good with words and grammar. At the time, I would think, “Why is he so tough on me? It’s only a spelling test.” But now I know it was much more than that – he saw some sort of intelligence in me and took it upon himself to see that I channeled that intelligence. He believed in me. He still believes in me.
My dad was my hero growing up, and for good reason. I absolutely idolized him, and there are photos to prove it. I would always sport my Notre Dame apparel in attempts to dress like him and make him proud of me – he is a huge ND fan who taught me the Fighting Irish’s anthem by the time I was 5 years old. I would always try my best in any sport I played mainly because I knew my dad was in the stands watching.
He went to nearly every single one of my games, every dance recital, every school event, everything. And I know that he will continue to do so because he actually cares.
As I grew up, like plenty of teenagers, I tried to separate myself from my parents. I was a huge fool – that’s apparent. I still remember a particular incident that occurred when I was about 16 years old. I was having the epitome of a teenage breakdown – yelling at my parents, telling them that they don’t understand or care about me – and was emotionally uncontrollable. It was very unnecessarily dramatic on my behalf. But all it took to break up my breakdown was my dad grabbing me, holding onto me, hugging me and telling me that he loved me. I collapsed into his arms and cried like a baby. He cried, too. I think he knew that at that moment I just really needed my daddy. I’ll never forget it.
My dad was always protective of my sister, brother, and I, but he also helped all of us grow up. Sometimes, you really do need “tough love” and a bit of strictness, and I respect him for that. He was always honest with all of us – if we played a bad game, he let us know. After age 5, he stopped letting us win board games. If we raised our voices at our mother, he raised his louder at us. These days, some parents are too soft on their kids. I’m not saying my dad was by any means hard on us, but he always treated us like actual human beings so we knew when right was right and wrong was wrong.
I feel like the relationship between my father and I has gone full circle. We were buddies back then when I was a little kid, we went through some difficult times (all thanks to my teenage years), and now we’re buddies once more. We talk about life and the world we live in; we watch Real Time with Bill Maher – “our show” – together; we make each other laugh; and we’re always there for each other.
He’ll always be my go-to guy, my father, and my friend. I’ll forever be a “daddy’s girl,” and I’m completely OK with that. When you have a dad as amazing as mine, why would you want it any other way?
Happy Father’s Day to you, Dad. You’ll always be hero. I’ll always be your little girl.