My friend Emily (the triathlete, remember?) lost her dad two weeks ago. I can’t even imagine how she and her family feel or what they are going through; I am in awe of the strength and perspective she has displayed.
Perspective: so easy to forget, and so often, unfortunately, re-gained only when we or someone close to us faces a loss. Emily’s loss has given my own perspective a swift kick in the rear with regard to a group of people far too often taken for granted: dads.
When I ‘m driving around, I think “What if Dad hadn’t been there to help me research and shop for a new car?” When I’m out running, I think “What if Dad hadn’t been there to introduce me to this, one of the true loves of my life?” As I’m writing this very blog post, I think “What if Dad wasn’t there to encourage my writing?”
I’m blessed beyond measure with a fantastic dad. I’m also blessed to know lots of other fantastic dads – my brothers and friends who have become dads; the ones I feel like I know through stories my friends, like Emily, have told me; and ones I’ve merely read about, but deserve recognition nonetheless.
That said, I’d like to propose a toast, or a simple moment of appreciation, to all the great dads out there and the things they do.
Here’s to the dads…
- Who change diapers.
- Who help with the 2 a.m. activities babies seem so fond
- Who stand on the sidelines of a race their wife is running, and help a toddler(s) hold up a huge sign that reads “GO MOMMY.”
- Who play with their kids.
- Who get their kids involved in some sort of athletic activity at a young age.
- …and who are athletic/active themselves, setting an example.
- Who patiently read the same bedtime story every night for weeks on end [to my own Dad: remember The Monster at the End of This Book?].
- Who help with kitchen table/eat-your-vegetables discipline.
- Who take their kids to places of historical significance.
- Who attend all of their kids’ sports games, recitals, school plays, etc.
- Who take their kids camping.
- Who take their kids on college tours in high school.
- Who teach their kids how to work a grill.
- Who tell their daughters they look pretty.
- Who show their sons how to treat women.
- Who tell stories…and possibly the best jokes ever.
- Who help with dinner (and yes, opening a bottle of wine or fetching your wife a beer most certainly does count as helping with dinner).
- Who tell their kids they’re proud of them.
- Who remember to take pictures, even when we roll our eyes.
- Who unfalteringly give their kids guidance and emotional support, no matter how old those kids get.
Here’s to you guys. Let’s all raise a glass, shall we? And remember what you appreciate about your dad.