I am fortunate.
My father raised my two sisters and I, by himself, after I turned 15. He has always been part of our lives, even after he and my mom split when I was a child. He made it a point to move close enough so that we could stay in the same school and could ride bikes between my mother’s house and his house if need be. When I was 15, my mother moved out of state and my sisters and I permanently moved in with dad.
Somehow, we three girls did not drive our dad insane. Besides raising three girls–a feat in itself–he provided them with cars, encouraged us to start working at 16 so we could gain professional experience, taught us how to cook and clean, care for a dog, take care of a house and our vehicles, how to haggle, save money, and do taxes, taught us the valuable techniques on how to get solicitors to leave you alone, and how to get information when companies keep transferring you around to different departments.
He made every car ride, no matter the distance, bearable with funny games that challenged us. He got us our dog for Xmas, and made the reveal that we were getting a puppy so funny and special that I tell it whenever I can. And every Xmas was special because even if we opened presents ahead of time, he’d still surprise us with stockings stuffed with personally picked gifts, even for the dog! And he thought it was funny the year we fought over decorating the tree; we settled the dispute by throwing stuffed animals into the branches and call it a day.
He treated us to whatever restaurant we wanted for our birthdays, even if we wanted to go to one place for dinner and another place for dessert. He made it a tradition to make Thanksgiving dinner together, which made the meal all the more enjoyable.
He made it imperatively important to us that family time was a time to cherish, and board games are now a hollowed obsession. If he needed to discipline us, he was never unfair.
He showed us how to have a voice and defend it, taught us to question everything–especially when it counts, and encouraged each of us to be creative, to find hobbies, to try new things, to make our own choices, and to stand up for others.
My sisters and I all graduated high school with honors, got into great colleges–and he paid for those colleges!–and he gave us the privilege to travel the world together as a family.
Because of him, we’ve gone to so many places and done so many things. These pictures are just a fraction of the moments captured. There are at least 10 family albums of printed pictures that were taken before the digital age!
He’s usually behind the camera, so getting pictures of him are far and few between.
My dad has managed to be there for all the big moments, all the silly moments, and all the other moments in between.
He never stops being supportive, and is the silliest, funniest, most awesome, wonderful, remarkable man I know.
I’ve always thought I don’t give him enough credit because I believe that he deserves a world of thanks. I cannot express how blessed I feel to be his first born.
Look at us dorks ^
We’re a goofy, happy family.
And we dorks happily follow our dad anywhere.