An Open Letter To The First Man To Ever Love Me: My Dad

With Father’s Day around the corner, I write this acknowledging one of the strongest forms of love out there: the bond between father and daughter.

Dear Dad,

With Father’s Day approaching, I’d like to take a minute or two to express my never-ending gratitude for all that you do.

Being a father is no easy task. A father makes a huge impact on his daughter’s life. He is the first man she says "I love you" to, and the first man to really show her what love is.

To be honest, I can’t remember a time when you weren’t there for me -- not only as a father, but as a best friend. As a child, you were my favorite playmate. I know now that your favorite movie was never really "Cinderella," and that you would have much rather been watching the game than playing with Barbies.

You did those things solely because you loved me; showing me that when you love someone, you do what you can to make them happy.

From teaching me how to walk or throw a ball, you’ve showed me ways to stand on my own two feet. A dad’s job is not only to protect his little girl, but also to show her how to defend herself when, one day, he is not around.

When the time came for me to start school, you added another title to your never-ending duties. With every math question I had and essay you proofread, you also got the job as my personal tutor. Although you’re always willing to help, you showed me that I can solve problems on my own.

You also were the one who taught me about sports, books and life lessons in between. I guess you can say you've never stopped teaching me.

As much as I want to thank you, I also want to apologize. Raising a teenage girl might be one of the biggest challenges a father goes through. Speaking from my own experience, I’m sorry for any grey hairs I’ve caused you in the past.

Even though I snapped at you when you suggested I wear less makeup, I knew it was cause you saw my true beauty. At the time I was embarrassed when you demanded to meet my dates at the door, but now I understand you just wanted to make sure I was in good hands.

I know I was a handful at times, but really, what daughter isn’t? I also acknowledge there’s still a long future of me screwing up and running to you for help.

When the day comes, I’ll ask your opinion on a guy, knowing deep down I won’t be able to commit without your approval.

Also, please don’t be annoyed when I ask your opinion on graduation or wedding dresses, even though I know you could care less about fashion. When it comes down to it, you know how much your approval means to me.

Even though we don’t always understand each other, you're one of the biggest influences in my life. A father is the one who guides his daughter through life.

Whether it was a school play, sporting event, graduation or any defining moment in my life, you’ve always been one of my biggest fans. Wherever I end up, I hope I make you proud.

Every little girl grows up looking up to her dad, but I’ve never stopped. I know there’s no such thing as a perfect dad, but you come pretty close.

I hope one day I can show you how important you are to me. Even more, I hope this Father’s Day is everything you deserve.

Sincerely,

Daddy’s Little Girl

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