Dear Dad, I Need You To Know

Dear Dad, I Need You To Know

Thank you for being the very best version of yourself every single day.

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Dear Dad,

I will forever be grateful that you were the very first man in my life. Thank you for loving me first and raising me to be whomever I wanted to be. Thank you for the lessons along the way. You taught me perseverance and handwork. You gave me the inspiration to do big things and a path to follow. I learned compassion and respect from you. I look up to you and I hope one day I make you as proud as you make me. I'm blessed to be your daughter, I hope you feel the same way about being my Dad.

Thank you for putting our happiness above everything else. You would do anything to make us feel safe and secure. You sacrifice so much for us. We see that and we appreciate you for that. You have never let us worry about money, you somehow take care of all of it. We are so fortunate. Thank you for providing us with everything we need to be happy and successful. Your long days of work don't go unnoticed. Despite your early mornings and long days, I can always count on you to take me wherever I need to go or fix whatever I accidentally broke.

Most importantly, thank you for showing me what a man should act like. You treat Mom and us better than we could ever imagine. You never raise your voice no matter how ridiculous we are acting and you could never even think of laying a hand on us. You would never do anything to hurt us. You are so selfless when it comes to us. Some kids don't have it as good as I do. I was fortunate enough to have you as my Dad. You are one of the good ones. You are a real man. You do the impossible. Thank you for showing me how I should be treated in a marriage and how my future children should be loved.

I don't tell you enough how much you mean to me. I see what you do for us. I feel your love. I couldn't fathom going through life without you as my Dad. Thank you for being the man that I can crack jokes with one minute and cry on your shoulder the next. Thank you for the time and the money you have put into sports and education for us. I promise to make you proud. I promise to be as good as a person as you are.

I love you Dad, thank you for being you.

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The Thank You My Dad Deserves

While our moms are always the heroes, our dads deserve some credit, too.
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Dear Dad,

You've gone a really long time without being thanked. I'm not talking about thanks for things like opening the Gatorade bottle I couldn't or checking my tires when my car's maintenance light is flashing, but rather the thanks I owe you for shaping me into the person I am today.

Thank you for teaching me what I deserve and for not letting me settle for anything less.

While the whole world was telling me I wasn't good enough, you were there to tell me I was. Whether this was with boys, a friend, or anything else, you always built my confidence to a place I couldn't build it to on my own. You showed me what my great qualities were and helped me feel unique. But most of all, you never let me settle for anything less than what I deserved, even when I wanted to. Without you, I wouldn't be nearly as ambitious, outgoing or strong.

Thank you for giving me someone to make proud.

It's hard to work hard when it's just for myself, but so easy when it's for you. All through school, nothing made me happier than getting a good grade back because I knew I got to come home and tell you. With everything I do, you give me a purpose.

SEE ALSO: 20 Things You Say When Calling Your Dad On The Phone

Thank you for showing me what selflessness looks like.

You are the prime example of what putting your family first looks like. If me wanting something means that you can't get what you want, you'll always sacrifice. From wearing the same T-shirts you've had since I was in elementary school so I could buy the new clothes I wanted, to not going out with your friends so you could come to my shows, you never made a decision without your family at the forefront of your mind. If there is one quality you have that I look up to you for the most, it's your ability to completely put your needs aside and focus entirely on the wants of others.

Thank you for being the voice in the back of my head that shows me wrong from right.

Even though many of your dad-isms like “always wear a seatbelt" easily get old, whenever I'm in a situation and can't decide if what I'm doing is right or wrong, I always can hear you in the back of my head pointing me in the right direction. While I may not boost your ego often enough by telling you you're always right, you are.

Thank you for being real with me when nobody else will.

Being your child hasn't always been full of happiness and encouragement, but that's what makes you such an integral part of my life. Rather than sugarcoating things and always telling me I was the perfect child, you called me out when I was wrong. But what separates you from other dads is that instead of just knocking me down, you helped me improve. You helped me figure out my faults and stood by me every step of the way as I worked to fix them.

Most of all, thank you for showing me what a great man looks like.

I know that marriage may seem very far down the road, but I just want you to know that whoever the guy I marry is, I know he'll be right because I have an amazing guy to compare him to. I know you're not perfect (nobody is), but you've raised me in a such a way that I couldn't imagine my kids being raised any differently. Finding a guy with your heart, drive, and generosity will be tough, but I know it will be worth it.

Dad, you're more than just my parent, but my best friend. You're there for me like nobody else is and I couldn't imagine being where I am now without you.

Love you forever,

Your little girl

Cover Image Credit: Caity Callan

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A Certain 'Thank You' To My Dad

This probably isn't the "thank you" you're expecting.

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I am so (and I cannot stress this enough) blessed to have the dad that I do. There are a lot of things in this life I owe my dad a huge "thank you" for. Driving me to dance class multiple times a week for years, brushing my hair every day when I was little before he took me to pre-school, and hugging me when I have been upset.

Some other things include holding me accountable when I have messed up, while also reminding me he loves me no matter what, teaching me to be fearless in going after my dreams, and being my best friend every single day.

But there is one more thing I think I owe my dad a substantial "thank you" for marrying my stepmom.

I am so unbelievably happy for my dad, as he found someone who makes him happier than ever.

Seeing them together, it is beyond obvious how much she compliments his life, gives him endless amounts of unconditional love, and listens to his jokes.

The thing is, though, that when she married him and took on the role of being a wife, she also took on the role of being a stepmother.

When doing that, she did not have to do so in such a selfless, graceful, compassionate manner. She did not have to do so with such enthusiasm. And she definitely did not have to accept me and treat me as her own.

But she did.

There are few people I look up to as much as I do with my stepmom. She is a wonderful person and has been an exemplary example of hard work, kindness, beauty, and strength.

When I have gone through difficult times, she has been there. And it has not been out of obligation, pity, or as a "favor". It is because she WANTS to be there for me and chooses to be. As far as I can tell, she does not think twice about it.

When I have been happy and am excited about certain accomplishments, she has been there. She has rooted for me, helped me, and made it known she is proud of me.

She has been there for me to confide in, listens to my jokes (I take after my dad when it comes to my humor), and pushes me to be my best.

I think we all are aware I have not always made it easy. In fact, I have actually made it rather difficult at times in the past. But in spite of that, she never gave up on me, and she chose to continue giving me more of her love and forgiveness than she ever needed to.

For that, I will forever be beyond grateful and I will spend the remainder of my life attempting to show her just how much I love, appreciate, and respect her.

To my dad: thank you so much for marrying her.

And to my stepmom: I am so proud to be able to call myself your stepdaughter.

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