A letter to all the dads

Print

To all the Dads:

Thank you! I always knew that being a dad was quite an undertaking, but it wasn’t until Dave and I had Nava that I realized what a demanding job fatherhood truly is (and we are only 10 months in!) Of course, I am confident that I gave my dad a run for his money on occasion, but I did not have a full appreciation of what my dad gave me until Dave and I became parents. What better way to honor you than by dedicating an entire day to showering you with appreciation and love? With that, some specific characteristics that you bring to the table for which I am grateful:

1. Pride. You are full of pride when it comes to your kids. Dave beams as he carries Nava around – despite the fact that the polka dot shirt and striped pants he dressed her in clash. My dad wears a special hat for each graduation ceremony he attends for his kids. While he argues the hat makes it easier to spot him in the crowd of graduation attendees, I suspect this is to shield his eyes (and those of nearby onlookers) from the light radiating off his proud face.

2. Fun. You make parenthood fun – you are goofy, are able to take a trying situation and point out the humor, and you take an ordinary activity and turn it into an adventure. Dave is completely silly around Nava, gets her to laugh, and uses his imagination to come up with activities that I would never think of. It was with some frequency my dad would say to me and my brothers the magic words of, “Don’t tell your mother.” Even if it was as inconsequential as ice cream for dinner, when we heard those words, we knew we were about to do something fun.

Right: Dave and Nava, spending some quality time together in the park.

3. Security. You make your kids feel secure. What we need changes over time, but you are our security blanket in the world, and that does not change. You make us feel safe and protected. Whether you are shooing monsters out from under the bed (an activity that I suspect is in our near future) or comforting us after a tragedy, when you are around, we feel like everything is under control.

4. Patience. You have a never-ending supply of patience. It was not so long ago that I would call my dad in the middle of the night at the end of each semester, full of angst in light of my upcoming law school exams, convinced I would fail each and every class. He would calmly reassure me that I was prepared; that takes quite a bit of patience at 2:00 a.m. When Nava wakes up in the middle of the night and just wants to be held, Dave will sit and rock with her for hours. What I did not realize until I became a parent, however, is how much patience a dad needs to have for the mom! Am I right, ladies?

Right: Me and my dad, Mike Abrams.

5. Love. It goes without saying, that you have an unlimited supply of love to give to your kids. Growing up, my dad made me feel like the most valuable person on earth. Dave gives his whole heart to Nava, and I know that he too will make Nava feel like the most important person in the world. You love your job as a dad, which is why you must be so good at it.

A new tie or a set of personalized golf balls are not a sufficient gift for all that you do (but we will still get these things for you, don’t worry). On this Father’s Day, we – your kids, your wives, your families – hope you know how appreciative and grateful we are for you, our dads.*

*With a special thank you to my dad and to Dave, the best dads around.