Well before I get to the nice stuff, let me give everybody a breakdown of what kind of stuff I deal with because of my dad. First of all, I cannot be seen in my neighboring town or state because somebody always happens to “suppose that you’re Kev’s son, right?” Well, maybe that’s not terrible but then there’s all the stuff that I inherit from you that just so happens to really get under Mom’s skin. Regardless, to the original Sween Dog, Big Kev, you and I have our fun and sometimes get in trouble, but you can’t put a price on a good time and for that, I thank you.

Dads are what we aspire to be as men. These majestic creatures live the dream. Generally, their wives are out of their league, they watch sports and fall asleep whenever, wherever they want. The only thing more well-kept than their beverage fridge is their front yard, and they have smaller versions of them that take the heat off of them from said wife. Dads always entertain everybody, they are masters of the grill and can almost effortlessly drink anybody under the table at family parties despite their infrequent drinking habits. There never seems to be dull moments around you, you have the most raunchy, inappropriate jokes, sometimes unorthodox advice and best stories even though most are likely exaggerated. Overall, not bad. Everybody tells me all the time, “you sound/look/eat just like your father.” It just so happens that I’m taller, darker, and more handsome, so I’ll take that compliment any day.

When you’re a kid, your dad is a lot of things: your protector, your coach, your hero, the list goes on. For me, I remember my dad bringing me to play mini golf, driving me around on his Harley Davidson motorcycle and taking me to the emergency room and while that stuff sounds routine, it was special to me. That stuff is more fun to do with people that you love, and when a kid like me was able to watch my dad be a kid again, with his sons, that was special to me.

Well, what’s better than that? After a few years of little league games, father daughter dances, visits to the principal’s office and rides home or whatever you and your dad do, you will see your dad differently. At this point, your dad will be your old man. That guy at one time was just like you. At that point, you will gain a good friend. It is now that you can cry to him and tell him that you’re not doing alright, share a good story, eat an enormous meal or just sit on the couch and do absolutely nothing. I can’t explain how or why this happens but it does and it’s one of the best things that’s ever happened to me.

I suppose after some more years of both triumph and disappointment, things will change again. For me, I hope this happens after he gains a daughter-in-law, a few grandchildren, Guiness with extra malt, and some bags of Original Wise Potato Chips. Because in the end, all I want someday is what he has. One day I want the “I dress for comfort” wardrobe, my wife to be better looking than me, a couple of great kids, beer that costs more than $20 for 30 cans, a brain full of good memories, and a heart full of love.

So to all the dads, we’ve discovered both peaks and valleys. I’m glad you have been a part of it all because without your help, I wouldn’t be who I am today.