Last week me and my dad went out to dinner together. My soon-to-be step mom, Jill, was in Chicago for work, and my younger brother was at my mom’s house for the week, so it was just me and my old man. We went to a cozy little Italian place right down the street from our neighborhood. While we were waiting for our food, I asked my dad an important question:
“What do you want for father’s day?”
It only took him a moment to respond to me.
“You know if I want something I just go out and get it myself.”
Of course I knew that. My dad is, at his best, independent, and at his worst, hard-headed. He is incredibly self-sufficient, and hardly let’s me (or anyone else, for that matter) do anything for him (which is a trait he most definitely got from my pop pop).
So what do you get for someone who already has everything he wants?
The answer is words.
Words are something I’m good at. Writing is something I can do. But, it’s difficult, maybe even impossible, to use my words to sum up how much my dad means to me.
That doesn’t mean I won’t try.
So here is my father’s day present to you dad: a collection of words that I’ve strung together about how much you mean to me, and some of the little things I love.
Dad, I’m not sure where I’d be today without your love and guidance.
I know that sometimes we fight, and sometimes I get angry at you for dumb little things (and let’s be real – you also get angry at me for dumb things, too), but regardless, I’ll always love you.
I love your stupid dad jokes that always make me laugh. I love how every time I ask a question about Adam, you go “Who?” like he doesn’t live in our house. I like that sometimes when you send me texts I have no idea what you’re talking about, but I use my sick “dad translation” skills to figure it out. I like the dumb things you say that always make me feel better when I’m having a bad day.
I love how helpful you are. From FAFSA to car problems, you always know what to do. Every time I text or call you with the littlest problem or question, you never fail to calm my nerves and help me find a solution. In short, I would be a mess of a person without your help. You make adult life look a little less scary.
I’ll even admit that your need to do everything yourself is sometimes endearing. It shows me that one day, maybe I can be that self-sufficient too. But, I have one request: please let others do things for you sometimes. It’s how we show you we love you and want to help you.
Most of all, I love the subtle ways you show you love me. Not with your words, but with your actions.
When it comes down to the bottom line, you are a man of very few words: your actions most certainly speak louder than anything else.
I like that when I ask you to do something, you grumble and complain about it for a minute or two, but always end up doing it anyway. From making me food after I get home from a long day at work, or picking up something from the store for me, you always do it. It’s just one of those subtle actions that shows you care.
When you do use your words, though, I know you mean it. Every time you tell me you love me, or that you’re proud of me, I cherish it. Nothing makes me happier than knowing how much you care about me and how proud I’ve made you. It’s one of the things that motives me to try my best at home, at work, and at school.
To sum this post up, I love you.
I’ll end this post with another memory from the same night we got dinner last week:
When I asked you if I was your best friend, you didn’t say yes, or answer me at all. After a little more badgering, you said:
“I don’t have to be your best friend. I’m your dad.”
At that moment, I was a little unhappy with the answer, but in retrospect, I know you weren’t saying that to be mean. After all, I think the definition of dad already includes the fact that your are, indeed, one of my best friends.
So, happy father’s day dad. I hope my words conveyed how much you mean to me.
I love you.