An Open Letter To My Father

An Open Letter To My Father

Saying the things that might not otherwise be said.
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Dad,

First, thank you. Thank you for being my rock; for being the one who no matter what, is always on my side and sticks with me through thick and thin. From the “man-trips” to Wildwood, NJ to the random trips to grocery stores on vacation because you just love grocery stores, I can’t help but smile at every little memory we share. Trust me when I tell you, dad, I remember more than you probably think, and even the smallest of things act as such a foundation for my life. Like when I see small dinghy-boats, I’m reminded of that muggy summer evening when you came home from a golf tournament with a new Alumacraft boat for us, and a smile from cheek to cheek. Every Christmas, I think of the times we’d spend setting up the train and how you’d lower your glasses on your nose and get up under the tree to figure out why the trains not running, only to find out it was a loose piece of tinsel on the tracks. Thank you for being a role model, not only by being a great father, but also a great person. I cannot begin to imagine where I would be in my life without your guidance and influence. That brings me to the next point I wanted to make, one that probably wouldn’t be brought up otherwise. I want to thank you for being a stern parent, the one who didn’t give in to my juvenile demands or whimpers, the one who was my parent more than my friend. Even though I could (and would) go to mom for the things I really wanted, you knew what I needed and provided me with the tools of life to be able to do just that. On a daily basis, I catch myself mid-action, thinking “This is so my dad,” and I couldn’t be any happier because there’s no one else in this world I would rather emulate. When you introduce me, I love hearing “this is my son,” and seeing your eye sparkle as I shake their hand. I thrive knowing that I represent you, and through me, you will continue to live on. Because of you, I know what I need to do and who I need to be to be a great father. Of all the memories, from looking up to you as my hero, to seeing you now as the man I will become, I will never forget the laughs we shared. Whether they be over a beer, or at the house in front of the fireplace, I will never forget the infectious laughter that would fill the air. Thank you for everything, dad, and most importantly, thank you for teaching me how to love.

-Your Loving Son

Cover Image Credit: Pexels.com

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I Blame My Dad For My High Expectations

Dad, it's all your fault.
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I always tell my dad that no matter who I date, he's always my number one guy. Sometimes I say it as more of a routine thing. However, the meaning behind it is all too real. For as long as I can remember my dad has been my one true love, and it's going to be hard to find someone who can top him.

My dad loves me when I am difficult. He knows how to keep the perfect distance on the days when I'm in a mood, how to hold me on the days that are tough, and how to stand by me on the days that are good.

He listens to me rant for hours over people, my days at school, or the episode of 'Grey's Anatomy' I watched that night and never once loses interest.

He picks on me about my hair, outfit, shoes, and everything else after spending hours to get ready only to end by telling me, “You look good." And I know he means it.

He holds the door for me, carries my bags for me, and always buys my food. He goes out of his way to make me smile when he sees that I'm upset. He calls me randomly during the day to see how I'm doing and how my day is going and drops everything to answer the phone when I call.

When it comes to other people, my dad has a heart of gold. He will do anything for anyone, even his worst enemy. He will smile at strangers and compliment people he barely knows. He will strike up a conversation with anyone, even if it means going way out of his way, and he will always put himself last.

My dad also knows when to give tough love. He knows how to make me respect him without having to ask for it or enforce it. He knows how to make me want to be a better person just to make him proud. He has molded me into who I am today without ever pushing me too hard. He knew the exact times I needed to be reminded who I was.

Dad, you have my respect, trust, but most of all my heart. You have impacted my life most of all, and for that, I can never repay you. Without you, I wouldn't know what I to look for when I finally begin to search for who I want to spend the rest of my life with, but it might take some time to find someone who measures up to you.

To my future husband, I'm sorry. You have some huge shoes to fill, and most of all, I hope you can cook.

Cover Image Credit: Logan Photography

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Your Relationship With Your Parents Changes Over Time, Here's Why

Four ways in which your relationship with your parents change from age eighteen to twenty-two.

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Over spring break I had time to think about all the different ways in which my relationship with my parents has changed throughout college. We've definitely had our ups and downs, but as graduation grows closer, I take time to note how far we have come. From freshman to senior year of college I have undergone a drastic change in how I appreciate my parents.

At eighteen, I wanted to get as far away from my parents as possible. I was going to college in order to be independent, study, and hopefully make a career for myself. Nothing could stop me and no one could give me advice. I was stubborn and hungry to explore the new life that awaited me. I didn't realize how hard it would be being on my own for the first time ever. I had never even been to camp let alone moved to a different state not knowing a single soul. I was happy for the new opportunities but quickly realized how much I had been sheltered. Initially, I resented my parents for my little life experience going into college but as the years have passed I realized I can't be so immature to put my lack of knowledge on them. As an adult I now make things work and advocate for myself. Your struggles as an individual humble you so you can come back together better and stronger than before.

Here are some ways in which the relationship between you and your parents change:

1. You don't live together 24/7, so you appreciate time spent with them.

When you're not sharing a space with your parents and they are not there to nag at you about chores, you finally get to know them as people. As an adult yourself you begin to relate to them in ways that weren't possible in childhood.

2. You realize what is worth fighting over and what is not.

You have learned how to live on your own and set boundaries. As an adult, you come back home knowing what can be improved upon within the relationship and what are things you can let go.

3. You have experience with adulthood now and can understand how really great they are.

Adult struggles are real and now as someone older and wiser, you have experienced a great many. You then begin to realize how your parents took on all these responsibilities plus the responsibility of raising/providing for you. You don't know how they did it, but suddenly you're mad at sixteen-year-old you who fought them on everything.

4. They are your biggest support system in wanting you to achieve your dreams.

There is no one quite as invested in your dreams like your parents. When you have no one to turn to and nothing to give you that extra boost of motivation, parents are there. They may not be perfect but they love you more than anyone so call your parents.

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