A stereotypical Father’s Day consists of buying your dad something like a “World’s Best Dad” coffee mug or a new tie to add to his collection, paired with a funny card about drinking beer and playing golf. All of these things always made me laugh because they just didn’t fit my dad’s personality. At all. He has a ponytail, owned a body shop for over 30 years, loves being on the water and the only sport he watches on TV is dirt bike racing.
Needless to say, buying a Father’s Day card that actually fit my dad’s personality, has always been a challenge for my brother and me.
When I was a kid, my mom used to write letters to me on the back of pictures that she got developed. While recently cleaning out some things, I came across one of these letters that seemed appropriate to share near Father’s Day.
You’re 4 years old and very special to me and daddy. You have a mind of your own! You can write your name very well and seem to be interested in many things. Your favorite cars you say are daddy’s truck and go-kart. You love riding the go-kart! You say when you get big you are going to marry daddy.
We love you so much!
Mommy + Daddy
The researcher in me was curious why little girls often say that they want to marry their dad. Not surprisingly, it should be taken as the utmost compliment to dads! Meg Meeker, MD, says, “In her young mind, she never wants life to change. She wants her mother close and she wants you to stay in her life, just the way you are. At such a young age, the word marry means something very different to her than it does to you. It means you will always stay in her life as her very special Dad.”
Being raised by the most non-stereotypical dad (also lovingly known as “Teej”) was the biggest blessing I could have ever had. I remember one year ‘Santa’ got my brother and me dirt bikes for Christmas and, of course, we were thrilled! But it was the look of pure childlike joy on my dad’s face when he saw our reactions that was priceless and something I’ll never forget! From being taken to school on the back of his Harley Davidson to being mortified of him (potentially) scaring away my high school boyfriends by mowing the yard shirtless while drinking a beer…it was a childhood I wouldn’t trade for the world.
As I’m approaching 30, I’m realizing more and more how valuable a Father-Daughter relationship is. We’ve all heard the sayings “Never take a moment spent together for granted,” and “Always say I love you.” But when a major health scare is thrown in the mix, these cliché statements hit close to home and you understand the meaning of them in a bigger way than you thought possible.
Happy Father’s Day to my amazing dad. I love you!