A month or so ago, I wrote a Love Letter to My Mom with the intention of writing one for my dad shortly after. The holiday season always reminds me of my childhood and the different traditions I had with each parent. My dad owned the Christmas tree shopping and light stringing, and my mom took us Christmas shopping. I enjoyed both holiday activities thoroughly. But enough about holiday tradition. This love letter goes out to the first man I ever loved, my dad.
Who He Is
My dad is an incredible human being. He’s smart and loyal, and sensitive. My dad loves making omelets and prefers a week-long road trip to a 3-hour flight. He used to tear down barns and build things from the wood (his specialty was making birdhouses). He cries during good commercials and nothing else in his life compares to the love he feels for his three children. I know this because he’s told me almost every day for my entire life.
My dad is one of those dads that seem like fatherhood was their life calling. That’s not to say we didn’t have our fights. As any father/daughter relationship goes, we would squabble about how he didn’t understand me, or he’d be angry that I went to him for something after my mom already said no (come on little Shannon, you’re smarter than that). But it’s what happened after the fights that always surprised me. My dad would apologize when he was wrong. While he and my mom were obviously the leaders of the house, he was never too proud to admit when he was wrong. This is a lesson I’ve tried to carry out in my adult life.
I have a lot of special memories with my dad. He would take Kayla and I mini golfing, go-carting, and shopping on the last day of every summer until we started high school.
When Twin and I went off to college, we would spend every Thanksgiving/Christmas break binge-watching the latest Grey’s Anatomy season with my dad. Cringing at the sex scenes, and crying at the many, many, many heartfelt monologues.
My dad helped foster my love of animals. He would also take Twin and me to the pet store whenever our hearts desired. He taught us how to hold puppies the right way, and he’d scoop up the hamsters whose cages we couldn’t yet reach. He’d take us fishing in the summer. And he surprised us with a chocolate lab puppy when we were in second grade (sorry mom).
How he shaped me
My dad has taught me patience. He’s taught me humility and to admit when you’re wrong and apologize. He and my mom have always told me how great I am. That I’m smart and make them proud. I’ve never had to wonder if my parents love me or what they think of me as a person.
I get my sensitivity from my dad. Growing up, he was never afraid of letting a few tears drop during a particularly good sermon, or in while in the car telling us how much he loved us. My dad taught me to tell people how much you love them and to appreciate the strong relationships I have in my life.
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You
I’m so grateful for the parents I have. I’m grateful for the balanced, full, fun childhood they gave me. My parents have made me who I am in different ways. I wouldn’t change a thing about my childhood and the lessons both of my parents taught me. Thanks Mom and Dad. I love you so much.