A Thank You Letter to my Dad for NOT Taking Care of Me

10:47:00 AM

The night before my dad moved me in to my first apartment he gave me a purple tool kit (I assume they were out of pink.) I didn't think much of it at the time, but it is so indicative of who he is as a father. He has never treated me like I’m fragile or incapable.

My dad would have loved to have had boys, but instead he got himself stuck with two daughters, a wife, and a male dog that acts more like a princess than any of us. I need to be thanking my lucky stars every day that I wasn't a boy because he's always said he would have named a boy Bazzle. Bazzle Barberio. Not kidding. I would've had to grow up as a magician or male stripper. There's really no other option there. He's surrounded by female energy all day every day, but I don't think he minds one bit.

My dad loves to do things for people. It's not the least bit unusual for me to wake up on a Saturday morning at home to find that he's already washed and detailed my car. He also loves to teach us how to do things and I think that's the greatest gift of all.

Sometimes his method of "teaching" means he leaves us be to figure it out ourselves. I know how to use that purple tool kit (at times with the help of E-How videos) and I put it to use almost immediately after moving in. I can easily tighten drawer handles, change smoke detector batteries, use electric sander to refinish furniture, basically whatever you ask. (Which is why my house looks so cute.)

I will never forget the day I walked into my room at my new apartment after a day in class and found literally thousands of ants all over the floor of my second floor bedroom (I still have no idea how they made their way up there.) It was the one day practically EVER that I left clothing on the floor and the ants were crawling all over everything. It was horrifying. I called my dad in a panic asking what on earth I needed to do and he told me I needed to deal with it. I got the vacuum cleaner and started vacuuming up the live ants and screaming a little (lot). Problem solved. (Don't worry, I also put in a service request to my complex to have an exterminator stop by.)

Over the years I’ve also observed the way this dynamic has played a part in my parent’s relationship. My mom is just as much a part of home improvement projects and mulch shoveling and grass cutting as my dad is. It's not glam, but it's important. 

Apparently it’s been this way from the very beginning because when they first started dating they went on a ski trip together and all the men were walking around carrying the ski equipment for their wives/girlfriends. My mom said they were standing there and my dad picked up his skis, put them on his shoulder and started walking over to the ski lift. She stood there for a minute before he looked back at her and said “Let’s go!” She laughs about that story every time she tells it.

My mom and I have talked about this and she says that it’s never been about traditional male or female roles at our house and she likes it that way because it’s given her the confidence to know she can take care of herself if she ever had to. Whether it’s something related to their finances or knowing how to take care of the daily stuff of life like car maintenance. I can tell you right now though that my mom would up her shopping budget in about 5 seconds flat if she took total charge of the finances (who do you think taught me to shop like I do?) so it's probably for the best that he's around to keep it in check.

I am so grateful that my dad has given me the confidence to take care of things myself. I fully intend for my next apartment to have a repairman on staff for the major stuff, but I'm proud of the fact that I don't have to rely on anyone else to take care of me. It makes me feel strong and self reliant.

It also means that I could never be in a relationship that put me in a hyper-traditional role. I don't mind cleaning and am a bit of a neat freak, but ask me to cook and if it doesn't come in a mac and cheese box it's probably going to be a wreck. I believe in sharing the responsibilities.

Now, this is NOT to say that I don't need my dad. I still have a lot to learn and I can't possibly imagine what I would do without him! He's my level head in a crisis (like the 5 car accidents I was in during my first 2 years in South Carolina) and the reason I've been able to do so many of the things that I have been. He has given me an incredible self confidence that I can and will be successful and for that and so much more, I want to say Thank you Dad!

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  1. You are so lucky to have such a gen as your father.We all should value these relations more in our lives as parents are the most precious gift we get from Almighty Allah.


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