Last week, I was on Facetime with my parents. Me in Toronto, them in London, England. We were chatting away when their home phone rang. My father took the call and subsequently gave three minutes of his undivided attention to a window salesman. At that moment I was reminded that my dad is unquestionably the kindest, sweetest, most gentlemanly gentleman I have ever known and will likely ever know! Yes, folks, mine is the World’s Best Dad.
In honour of Father’s Day, Dad — this one’s for you!
Best, better, good, OK, not bad, officially rubbish — not all dads are cut from the same cloth.
There are lots of dads out there who don’t rise to the occasion. Dads who drink too much and love too little. Dads who take off on their kids without a second glance, or worse, stick around and hurt them. Dads who choose women other than their wives and leave their kids to help put mommy back together again.
Before I get all showy-offy about my dad, I just need to say, I get that. And I’m sorry if your experience leaves you anywhere other than wanting to celebrate him for being a positive parental figure.
People aren’t easy. Relationships aren’t easy. I’ve had plenty of bad ones. I’m just lucky that the relationship I have with my dad isn’t one of them — and that, at 80+ years-old, he’s still healthy, happy, and handsome — seriously, he’s handsome. One of my high school friends used to drink from the Robert mug every time she visited because she had a (not-so-) secret crush!
How can you tell if yours is the World’s Best Dad?
There’s no easy answer; we all have our own criteria. Here are five of mine. Needless to say, my dad scores top marks in each and every one.
1. The World’s Best Dad is loyal.
A loyal dad never leaves you questioning his love for you. He is faithful by choice, not by obligation. His devotion is so sincere, he’s practically unaware of it. It’s just who he is. He doesn’t know how to be any other way. And because his loyalty is so authentic, it is often subtle. The questions he asks, the quiet concern he expresses, these mere whispers are a testament to his unwavering loyalty.
2. The World’s Best Dad knows when to step in.
His need to be loved or liked doesn’t interfere with his role as a parent. He’s not afraid to reign you in when he senses you are going off course or making poor choices. He’s not afraid to say no to things everybody else’s parents say yes to. Nor is he afraid to discipline. He is a man of conviction yet flexible enough to learn as he goes. As a result, you may, just may find he softens a little with age 🙂
On that note …
3. The World’s Best Dad knows when to step aside.
Despite the natural inclination to instil his own values in you, he recognizes that you are your own person. He doesn’t expect you to follow his path. As you mature, he continues to counsel you and then respectfully watches you pursue your own path, without interference. He sees you parent your children your way and never suggests you’re doing it wrong. And even when he doesn’t understand what the heck you’re doing (can you explain what blogging is, darling?), he wishes you every success.
4. The World’s Best Dad is consistent.
You know that knot you get in your gut when you feel or know you’ve acted out of line? You don’t get that with the World’s Best Dad because no matter what you may have done wrong, he will never make you pay for it. He doesn’t manipulate. He doesn’t play games. His expression of love doesn’t waver. It is constant. As a result, you never, ever fear him.
5. The World’s Best Dad raises the bar.
As a daughter’s first love, dad can’t help but become the gauge against which we measure other men. While some dads teach their girls what they don’t want in a partner, the World’s Best Dad raises the bar so high that even when we’re all grown up and happily married, from time to time we catch ourselves looking at the partner we love and thinking, if only you were a little bit more like my dad!
Dad, thank you for being all of the above. And thank you, especially, for marrying the wonderful woman I have had the fortune of calling Mom for all but the first six years of my life. I love you, as does she. Because it’s quite simply impossible not to.
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!
Before I sign off … a message to my husband, Marc.
I don’t know how it feels to be a long-distance father, but I do know this:
You think about her every hour of every day. You speak to her more than many dads speak to their children even when they’re living in the same house. You take an interest in her every move. Every playdate. Every outing to the dog park. Every haircut. Every swing on her patio hammock.
There may be miles between you but you are barely missing a beat. And there is no way — hear me on this — there is no way that your little girl is not absorbing your love and loyalty. I don’t doubt that one day, she too will look at her person and think, if only you were a little bit more like my dad!
Happy Father’s Day to the World’s Second Greatest Dad!
Viv for today xo
The child I was referring to above is my lovely, lively and spirited stepdaughter, AB. Here are just a few things she’s taught me about bonding with a stepchild.
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