Someday down the road, there will come a time when your little girl is going to get married. It will be extremely emotional because, let's face it, you have been the most important man in my entire life since day one.
It's clear you're the real MVP.
And I'm going to be real here. You've kind of messed me up a bit because you've made my search for a husband a difficult task.
You see Dad, you're pretty awesome. You've taught me so many things, even when I didn't realize you were teaching me.
You have set the bar very high. On my wedding day and always, I love and appreciate you for all of the things that you have done for me... your little princess.
You've had a sparkle in your eye from the first day you saw me. When I come home from the city to visit on a weekend, you are genuinely so happy to see me. And I'm so happy to see you and Mom. That's not a reaction anyone can fake; it's an emotion that's just there and you feel it.
I have always had your support and confidence in everything I have ever done. You and Mom promised me a long time ago that I could have every opportunity I ever wanted in life, as long as I worked hard and stayed focused. I am truly one lucky gal. And I am so grateful.
You have taught me right... and you have taught me wrong. When I've been wrong, you've never held back in telling me so. But you never left me hanging; any wrongs did not come without instructions on how I could make them right.
I will never, ever forget how many of my tea parties you came to. You proudly sat at my mini-table along with my teddy bear and babies whenever I asked.
Patiently, you read "Goodnight Moon" to me about 10 times each night because it was my favorite book. With that, you taught me to dream. You taught me to live and to embrace life.
You helped me out in kindergarten when I was running in the wrong direction on the soccer field. Let's just be grateful I didn't stick with that sport.
No matter how busy you were, you took every back to school night, school function and sports game seriously and were always there with Mom for me. You sat through every dance recital no matter how painfully boring the ballet numbers were and gave me a beautiful bouquet after the finale.
My favorite times together at the shore were when we would go back after dinner, get ice cream and fly kites.
You bought me an apron when I was 2 and started teaching me how to make pancakes. I was on a step stool. And you also taught me how to bake Italian cookies on holidays because that's what Italians do around holidays... they bake and then they bake some more.
When I saved enough money to buy my first car, we looked together. Not only did you teach me to wash and wax it; you made sure I knew how to change my own tires and the oil, too.
You always explained that I should not have expectations in others, and it would limit disappointment.
I learned by example the benefits of hard work and perseverance.
When I can learn to do something myself, I don't need to wait for someone else to do it. Knowledge is a gift, and that's all you, Dad.
You taught me to believe in myself, be myself and never worry about what anyone else was saying or doing. Confidence is key to everything.
Because of you, I know the difference between a Phillips and flathead screwdriver. I also know how to use them.
The respect I have for rock 'n' roll and classic cars is pretty impressive... thanks to you.
You take care of me and Mom with the love and respect that every girl in the world should be treated, and I love you for that.
This is why my bar is raised because I have been extremely spoiled.
I have seen and experienced firsthand the way an amazing man should treat his wife, his daughter (...and her puppies).
A few years down the road, I will be thanking you again for the job you have done. It will most likely be the morning of my wedding day, just a few hours before you will be walking me down the aisle to the rest of my future.
I already know that the person standing at the altar waiting for me is going to be an amazing man because you have taught me what an amazing man is.
Thank you Dad, for all that you've done. I love you more than any words can ever say.