When my father tells the story of my birth, the most important part for him is that his were the first eyes I looked into when I came into this world. Obviously, I don’t know the truth to this story, because my mother was otherwise occupied and I had only very basic brain function. I believe it, though, because I have been a Daddy’s girl every day since.
My parents were graced with two loud, witty, relatively un-athletic daughters until my brother came along when my sister and I were 5 and 9. I never thought my father could have possibly wished we’d been boys until my brother was born. The poor guy had to deal with a house full of women until 2001. He never complained, though, and he coached our soccer, tennis, and softball teams valiantly. He didn’t tell us until several years later that we kind of sucked.
I might be biased, but my dad is the coolest person alive. Since I was small, he’s been the go-to for any problem in my life. His advice is like that of a best friend: on your side no matter what. Even if I’m clearly in the wrong, my dad will say, “Screw them.” His loyalty is unwavering.
When I was in high school, my dad and I started having grand life discussions after my younger siblings went to sleep. It was the same every night: he would be half asleep on the couch, distracted by one of the terrible movies he loves, and I would animatedly regale him with tales of high school. Sometimes, he would share with me stories from his life. I learned a lot about his parents and brother and my mother during these talks. Even now, when I go home, I try to keep him awake long enough to talk to me.
There are so many qualities of my father that are unrelated but very important in understanding why he’s so spectacular:
– My dad frequently mentions that I’m smarter than him. I’m not sure how it started, but when he would drive me to middle and high school, he would make up vocabulary. A running joke is that when someone asks what a word means, he responds with a long-winded, made-up definition and origin story.
– When I was younger, my father would throw me in the air and catch me, as many people do with children. This ended quickly when I threw up in his mouth during one particular landing.
– He’s going deaf, very slowly, and his favorite joke in the whole world is to yell “WHAT?” when someone mentions his hearing loss.
– He knows every single word to “Empire State of Mind.”
– Two summers ago, my dad got pulled over twice for speeding. Once he was eating an ice cream cone and promptly spilled some on his shirt, and the second time he was eating Chex Mix out of a bowl in his lap and had crumbs all over him.
– He is the king of dad jokes, and he loves sassy t-shirts that commemorate places we go. His favorites are “Schitt’s Creek” from New Hampshire and “Breakfast tacos all day, every day” from Austin. The morning after he bought the taco shirt he said, “Well, now I need to actually eat a breakfast taco or I have no business wearing this shirt.”
So much of who I am is because of my father. I love U2, Eric Clapton, and Bruce Springsteen. I knew all the words to “Piano Man” in middle school. I was once told that I “looked like a whiskey and ginger girl,” (not true) and that I have a “vice-like handshake,” both of which I attribute to my dad. He taught me how to give a proper handshake in high school and it’s definitely one of his proudest accomplishments.
I am confident that my brother will grow up to be the same amazing father that our dad is. I hope to find a husband with the same humor about farts and hearing loss and middle school nude photo scandals as my dad. I hope I can raise sons to be just like him (minus the baldness).
When I went to college, I feared that my relationship with my father would suffer because we weren’t living together. But here we are, five years later and 2,000 miles apart, and we talk every single day. He is the first person I call when something good happens, and he’s the best person to go to for career advice. He’s still my best friend and my biggest cheerleader.
He’s going to cry when he reads this.
Happy Father’s Day to the best Daddy in the world!
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