My Dad, My Role Model

 
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When it comes to fathers, I consider myself incredibly fortunate. 

I was quite young when I realized my dad was a little bit more impressive then the rest. Not only did he provide for me and protect me, but he always made the extra effort. It did not go unnoticed.

You see, my dad would come outside with us and race. He built a mini baseball diamond in the back yard for us, taught us patiently to swim, throw, catch and drive. He would make sure he caught the last 10 minutes of a game on his way home from work, even when he probably just wanted to get home and relax. He always showed up at my dance competitions, concerts and games. He lined the fields for I don’t know how many soccer games, drove me to Victoria or Nanaimo every weekend and made sure that I was always on time and ready to play.

The things that he did were impressive. The time he put in was invaluable.

He made a point to ensure that he was connected with me. On our drives, we talked, laughed and listened to The Beatles. He would throw out the “dad jokes” and I would make sure he saw me groan... but they were good. And I secretly liked them. And I think it wasn’t a big secret because I’m pretty sure he knew. 

Whenever I had an interest in something, he did his best to learn about it. I remember when I first started playing rugby he did not know anything about the sport. He would strategically sit near the parents who knew the game well so he could learn the ins and outs. He didn’t have to, but he wanted to know what I was passionate about. It allowed us to have discussions about the game, talk strategically about the different plays. He was interested, and I was appreciative. 

There are so many statistics that show how important a father is in a child’s life. I know that having the connection that I have with my dad has allowed me to set certain standards in my life. The way that my dad treats my mom is a beautiful thing. I knew that this was something that I deserved. The way that my dad treats and invests in his children is something that I looked for in a partner. And the grace and dignity my dad carries at all times is something I continually strive to do. 

This Father’s Day, as with every Father’s Day, I am taking the time to reflect on how fortunate I am. I’m so thankful to have such a strong, kind, thoughtful and invested dad. Who has now become one of the most loving, fun and caring grandfathers. 

Dad, thank you for the way you chose to raise me, parent me, support me and love me. I hope that I have made you proud.

Sarah Byrne