A Letter For Dad On His Birthday

Dear Dad,

At fifteen years together, I can easily say that I wouldn’t be where I’m at without you by my side. Not only have you supported us financially, but you’ve supported us emotionally and have always been our number one fan even if our crazy plan doesn’t even deserve an honorable mention. You make me believe I can accomplish anything because you never focus on my weaknesses, you focus on my strengths no matter what they may be. And that makes all the difference. 

When I was worried that I was spending too much money, you assured me that I was supported and all you wanted me to worry about was doing good in school and following my aspirations. When mom was worried about spending the money to go back to school, you told her the same thing. You work hard every day so that I can have that money to go to school, play sports, be in clubs, own books, see movies, see concerts etc. and we don’t appreciate the sacrifices you make to make that money enough. Missing occasional holidays and birthdays must be awful and while we just think of it as celebrating on another day, you know that it wouldn’t be the same and you just want to be able to be home with us. You even got a red light ticket one time because you had just got out of work and were rushing home to ring in the new year with us a couple hours before hand. You missed things so we didn’t have to.

When I was worried about homework, you laughed and said that you couldn’t help me with it anymore, but that didn’t stop you from helping me find the things I needed to learn what I was struggling with. You’ve read countless English essays, most likely on books and novels you haven’t read or that you don’t want to read again, and every time read them like I was showing you something amazing. Something that wasn’t just another school essay. You always assured me that essays I thought were good were actually great and that hard classes won’t be the end of your education if you do something about it once you’ve learned from your mistakes. You congratulated me every time I made the honor roll, even if I didn’t think it was a big deal. You were always more up to date with my school than I was, always making sure I was prepared and ready to face every day I had ahead of me. You helped me through school just as much as any teacher. 

When we started driving, I didn’t think I would ever be able to go over 10 miles per hour. I didn’t think I would ever remember to be doing all the things you need to do to be a successful driver. And a month or so later I’m driving on expressways and am blending into the daily traffic. I only progressed so fast because you kept the mindset that I was capable of it. You didn’t push me to do things I was uncomfortable with, but you didn’t let me get stuck in a rut either. You convinced me to try new things, new roads, new situations and you were never scared (at least as far as I can see anyway). You just stayed optimistic and it made all the difference. You have literally been teaching me that destinations aren’t the only things that matter, getting there is half the fun. 

You were my first and will always be my favorite man in the world. You were always my first dance and my first date. We didn’t have to do the stereotypical daddy daughter dance because every day could be a daddy-daughter day when we were together. What other dads would take their little daughter to see Fairiytopia live? Personally, my favorite time that we spend together is our trips to Costco. You can make even running boring errands fun. We can try all the samples, pick out huge bags and boxes of literally everything, and get snacks and drinks from their snack bar on the way out. Usually, when we go to Costco, it’s because we need ingredients for a big dinner, which means we get to cook together! (and then I get to eat it!) And while it usually involved some form of excitement, either a mess, a dog getting in the way, or people coming through the house, it always made it more enjoyable. You can make everything fun, even grocery shopping. 

Finally, you put up with my shenanigans. Really, I’m a good kid. I know it, you know it, we all know it. But I do tend to give you a bit more sass on a daily basis. But really, I do it cause I love you. I know you aren’t hurt by it, and I know that usually, a positive outcome will happen, either I will win the disagreement after some argument or you will retort with a comment that’s even funnier than what I originally said and I’ll forget what I wanted in the first place. You let me practice standing up for myself and speaking my mind even if it isn’t always in your favor.

I can’t wait for the many more adventurous trips we’ll make together whether it be to California or Costco. I know I can accomplish anything with my fun loving, selfless, optimistic dad by my side. I hope you have a great birthday! You deserve it 🙂

-Lily

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