What can I say about fathers that hasn’t been said? They are our heroes, our protectors, our champions and our mentors. They scoop us up when we skin our knees, they race so fast they almost blow the engine out when Mom inadvertently locks the baby in the car with her keys (true story). Our Dads sit with us in the dark when our closets come alive in our imaginations, they let us wail against unfairness when our graduation has been canceled due to a global pandemic. They even drive to Walmart in the middle of the night when they hear a shipment of Charmin has dropped so we can cease using the industrial sandpaper.

I was blessed with a father like this as is my daughter which is not a gratitude I take lightly, we all know many who weren’t or aren’t so fortunate. My husband had a very different kind of father, one who loved him deeply, yet carried insurmountable demons that prevented him from showing up in the ways that he wanted, forcing Niall to learn the most difficult job of his life without a teacher.

I reflect on this last year and can’t imagine the hardships the men in our world have had to face, literally being locked down, unable to take the action they desperately wanted to or needed to in order to care for their sons and daughters. I breathe in the wide open spaces of our beautiful neighborhood and give thanks that I wasn’t caught in a small apartment in the city or another country without food or healthcare. Niall always says that being born in America is a winning lottery ticket and as always, I couldn’t agree more.

Today I give thanks for our fathers, all of our fathers, with their imperfections, their struggles, their dorky humor and bad jokes. I give thanks for their efforts, the blood, sweat and tears it takes to raise a family. I give thanks for their partnership, I couldn’t imagine doing this alone. 

To all you Dads out there, all you Dads in the arena, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.