An open letter to my father, and all the men who have stepped up to the role in my life,
To my own father: thank you for sharing your love of cooking, conversations, and nature/home. Thank you for giving me space to be me, learn what I liked, didn’t like, what boundaries I should have, strengthen, and allow to fall down and be restructured. You’ve done more for me in that regard, more than you might think you have.
To those men who shall remain nameless here (there’s a handful of you), who stepped into the father figure role for me in my childhood: thank you as well. Thank you for looking after my best interests, my heart, and allowing me to be a “second” daughter. Thank you for your fatherly love and guidance when I was struggling.
To my living grandpa: thank you for being a secondary father to me. I appreciate photography, both taking and looking at, because of you. I appreciate enjoying life, the simple things, and margaritas because of you. I see Welch’s grape soda, Nilla Wafers, and classic cars, and think of you.
To my late grandpa: Thank you for being. You taught me to appreciate peace and quiet, simplicity, and enjoying little things, like a chocolate milkshake from McDonald’s. Thank you for the wonderful memories in your last years of life, and for the time I was too young to remember anything, thank you for seeing me as the daughter you always seemed you wanted, manifested into your granddaughter. Dad has said that he’d rather be a grandpa first, dad after that. I’m proud to be your granddaughter.
Thank you to all the active fathers out there. It’s a struggle (I’m sure even more so nowadays) raising kids, especially us daughters. I hope all the best for those future dads, wherever you are in your paternal journey, and I hope you learned plenty of things from your own father, and I hope that he stays around in your life, to give you advice when you need it, and frustrate you when he sends your own kids back spoiled and sugared up, because that’s what grandpa’s do.