An Open Letter To Single Fathers

Hi Dad,

It goes without question, there is a different dynamic in a single-parent household. We aren’t like most families. The nuclear family, two parents and their children, who sit down to eat dinner together and talk about how their days went. We most certainly are not the kind of family that plays board games around the fireplace, cozied up in their pajamas, drinking cocoa on a snowy winter’s night. Our family dinners usually consist of sprawled out takeout containers on the kitchen island. We would much rather spend our night in a fit of laughter watching a wildly inappropriate Jonah Hill movie than going camping. We are not the picturesque, perfect family, but there is no doubt in my mind that you are the binding that holds our worlds together.

Being a single parent is a great responsibility. I cannot fathom how difficult it must be to play both parent roles when you were only appointed one. The shoes to fill are massive, and I am forever grateful that you fearlessly took on the challenge of raising a bold young woman.

Although you are critical of your cooking skills, thank you for all of your semi-homemade dinners. Thank you for taking me prom dress shopping and telling me I looked beautiful, even though I know you don’t know much about fashion. When I’m feeling temperamental, thank you for being understanding of my hormonal episodes. Thank you for nursing me back to health in times of sickness and challenging the stereotype that the mother is the “natural born” caretaker.

Thank you for coming to the rescue when I’m paralyzed in fear because of a bug. Thank you for being protective of me when it comes to dating, and still being the one to wipe away my tears when I experienced my first heartbreak. Thank you for taking time off of work to provide for me. Thank you for dropping everything to come pick me up in times of distress. Thank you for all of the nights you cancelled your dates to be there for me when I needed you. Thank you for always prioritizing me over any other woman in your life. Your personal sacrifices have not gone unnoticed, and I cannot thank you enough for them.

Thank you for being brave. Thank you for making our house a home. Thank you for challenging what it means to be a father. Thank you for being resilient, for never giving up on me. Thank you for continuing to inspire me. Thank you for always persisting, even when the world was on your shoulders.

Thank you for loving me enough for two people. You are my hero.

Love always,

Your little girl.

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