Father’s Day is approaching soon, but as cliché as it is, we should celebrate our dads or father figures every day.
Ever since I can remember, I was a daddy’s girl. He came to all my soccer games, all my school events, and just always seemed to be there. Growing up in middle and high school, all my friends would talk about how close they were to their mother, and I would say, “I tell my dad those things too” in regards to them telling their moms about boys, periods, and other awkward things. They would look at me in shock, but I didn’t care.
I didn’t have the greatest relationship with my mom growing up. We would butt heads a lot and fight, and it would get quite ugly. I would walk away crying, and my dad would always be there to comfort me and tell me everything was okay. As I grew up, I was scared that I would lose my close relationship with my dad, but the opposite ended up happening—I only got closer to him as I got older, and I’m so grateful for that.
When I was a sophomore in high school and experiencing the worst anxiety and depression of my life, my dad was there. When no one else believed me or cared enough to help, he helped me. He loved me and guided me no matter how many times I screamed and cried.
When I waited a year after the state age to get my driver’s license because I was too scared, he pushed me (gently) to keep going no matter how scared I was.
When I graduated high school and had no clue what I was doing after, he came with me to every advisor and dean meeting. He never gave up on me. After high school, I was still struggling with anxiety and was in no position to go away to college. Instead of judging me or yelling at me like the rest of my family, he showed me even more compassion and empathy and helped me come up with a plan. Because of him, I went to the college I wanted to go to when I was in high school.
I went to school in New York City, which I was so happy about because, well, it’s New York, but also because my dad worked in the city, so I was close to him. I ended up visiting him multiple times a week during the semesters. I came to him with my school, roommate, and boy problems. He never turned me away. No matter how busy he was, no matter how stupid my problems were, he always made time for me.
Through every broken heart and every rejection, my dad was always there with open arms. It didn’t matter if I was 14 or 18 running to him—every time I looked up, he was right there to hold me.
When I graduated college earlier in May, I could see how proud my dad was of me. He wouldn’t stop smiling or congratulating me. It was a hot day, and everyone in my family was moaning about how burnt they were except him. He was just so happy to see me up there walking across the stage.
My dad is not just my best friend. He’s my hero. He’s my role model. He’s sacrificed so much just to make sure my family is happy. He’s given up every single weekend to drive us places or do something for my grandparents. No matter how mad he gets, he doesn’t raise his voice or lash out at anyone. I can only hope and aspire to be more like him as I grow older and older.
I’ve messed up more times than most in my life. I’ve been scared to share things with people due to fear of judgement and shame, but there is nothing I can’t tell my dad. No matter how many times I mess up, I never have to worry about him loving me less.
Maybe it’s not conventional for a daughter to share her boy problems or period pain with her father, but my dad is one of a kind. I consider myself the winner of the best dad jackpot, because there’s no one in this world who is as caring or selfless as he is.
“Anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad, and that’s why I call you dad, because you are so special to me. You taught me the game and you taught me to play it right.” – Wade Boggs