The P Word

Muddling my way through parenting

Father’s Day: a letter to Dad

It’s card-buying time for thousands of children of all ages across the country.

Yes, my card’s (almost) in the post – but I’m doing something a little bit different this year. I’m using this blog post as a kind of ‘open letter’ (you know, the sort of thing that business leaders write to politicians using the Daily Telegraph as their method of delivery). Essentially, it’s a way of saying something to somebody and making a broader public statement at the same time. So, ahead of Father’s Day this Sunday, here’s my own ‘open letter’ as a public way of honouring the great man who I call Dad.

[Before I begin, I realise that for many people the idea of celebrating Father’s Day is a difficult concept. Some have lost their Dad and this annual event evokes painful memories, while others are no longer in contact with absent (for whatever reason) fathers. And far too many ‘men’ down the years have neglected their responsibilities and inflicted lasting damage on their offspring. If that includes you, my heart bleeds for you. In whatever way possible, I hope that you are able to find your own peace, healing, restoration and freedom.]

I have been fortunate enough to have a great Dad, and I never plan to take that for granted. Here are a few reasons why:

Ok, this isn't my t-shirt, but the sentiment's the same!

Dear Dad,

Thank you for being there. My memory is full of happy times spent with you. We watched football together, ran together, talked together, played together – heck, we even built an epic Lego train set together! Time together. Our time together. Special time together.

Thank you for believing in me. You let me follow my dreams and gently nudged me in the right direction, or suggested a better path, if I was going off track.

Thank you for being a rock. As with most families, we’ve faced a few challenges. Even though it’s been a bumpy ride at times, with a few massive boulders along the way, you have always been reliable, strong, loving and with an unswerving determination that we will get through things together.

Thank you for being fun. Time with you has always been enjoyable; because of your determination to look at the lighter side of life, even the more mundane times together have been brought to life by your energy, enthusiasm and unfailing desire to enjoy life in all its fullness.

Thank you for setting an example. As a Dad, you’re my number one role model. Just by being your son, you have shown me and taught me everything that I need to be a good, positive and encouraging Dad to my own children. Beyond that, you have demonstrated loyalty, commitment, enjoyment and many other characteristics that I hope to inherit in similar measures.

Thank you for being ‘Poppa’. A new generation is now enjoying getting to know you and learning from you as their grandfather. You’re displaying the same characteristics which lit up my childhood, and your energy levels remain seemingly undimmed by the advancing years.

Thank you for not being perfect. Nobody’s perfect, even though the stuff I’ve written above may make it sound like you are! But you’ve shown me that even though we all have bad days and we all have faults, there’s no need to be restricted or held back by our limitations.

To put it simply, THANK YOU for being Dad.

From an eternally grateful and loved son,



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6 thoughts on “Father’s Day: a letter to Dad

  1. Nice letter. I hope you show it to him. My father passed nearly 15 years ago. So, at this point fathers day in my family is about me. I enjoy that but it would nice to celebrate it as a son too.

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