As part of our big Father’s Day gift guide giveaway over the past few weeks, we asked some simple questions of our readers for a chance to enter. We expected lots of different responses. What we didn’t expect though, is how emotional we all have been reading all of your answers, especially to the question: Tell us why the special dad in your life deserves to win.
It’s clear that women really value their husbands, partners, or fathers for so many different reasons; and more interestingly, for lots of the same reasons. So from more than 200 responses, here’s just a small sampling of some of our favorites. Because Dads? You should know that you are very appreciated.
And very, very loved.
DEIRDRE: He is supportive of the professional decisions I make, but more importantly is always in my corner.
CHRISTINE: He plays the part of every Disney Prince and also the evil step sisters.
CARRIE: My husband, Derick, lost his dad when he was 8 years old. The loss impacted him in many ways- he searched to fill a void in his life, he suppressed his feelings, he wandered with no make influence in his life. That changed when he first held our daughter, Conleigh. Being a dad…has been so healing for my husband. He embraces each moment with our children and is so in tune with how precious each moment is. Each day is a gift and while that sounds cheesy, it is so true. After losing his own father and feeling the pain of losing opportunities, he’s been determined from the start to make memories and to make each moment count.
AMANDA: My son (4) says: My dad always does nice things when I am feeling sad and speaks nice to me. We go camping; I love camping with my Dad so much that I feel like doing it every single night. I don’t know what else to say but that he gives me lots of hugs and kisses and I love him soooooo much! And he smells stinky after when he gets sweaty so he needs more soap. My daughter (2) says: Mine!
KEELY: Everyone used to call my husband Super Don because he always helps anyone out in need – big or small. And now that he’s a proud papa he’s even more super.
SARAH: I was in the hospital for 35 days and our twinless twin for 53 days after being born at 28 weeks. It takes a strong man to hold a family together through that kind of devastation. Fathers Day is a day we celebrate more than most it’s a day we almost didn’t get to have.
HEATHER: My husband, Alec, is the best sandwich-making, game-playing, diaper-changing, story-reading, grilling, biking, fun-having Dad our sons could hope for.
LENDY: He came to the US as an immigrant young boy and pushed through life as best as he could. After HS he joined the US Navy and served proudly for many years. Then he used his service to better himself. He became a US citizen and graduated from college with an engineering degree (while holding two jobs). He’s been a man of many many firsts in his family. And although they do not understand the scope of his accomplishments, I do. I will forever be proud of him.
MONICA: Not only does he truly coparent, but he does an excellent reading of Mo Willems’ Elephant and Piggie books.
CHRISTINA: I am my father’s daughter. I look in the mirror and I see the strength and determination that he has instilled in me. I feel the follow-through and dedication and morals coursing through my veins. As my father fades, I find that he has built within me the ability to step into the shoes of leading my family because it takes a strong person to be able to hold it together.
JORDANA: Home every night, school clothes shopping with our teenager, grocery shopping, ballet bun hair fixing for our 10 yo, little girl bicker-spits referee, there for every school, orthodontic, dance appointment, so the mama bear (me) can focus all my energy on battling for my health.
SUZY: The special dad in my life is my brother-in-law, Steve. He came into my sister’s life 25 years ago, after she was divorced with two young children…Steve married my sister and stepped up to the plate in a big way. I know my nephew is a better man and my niece a better person because of Steve.
MICHELE: If my son grows up to be half the man his father is, he will be doing a good job.
SUMERLIN: This is his first father’s day, and he will miss it…He is a military doctor, and is getting ready to do a two-year fellowship, but is picking up an extra weekend shift on-call at another hospital so we can continue to save money to buy a house. While he is providing for our family, he’s also relieving 4 other dads to be with their families and celebrate how special they are.
LIZ : He has been by my side through a tough pregnancy, a tough recovery from c-section, a few months of postpartum depression, my transition to working mom.
AMORETTE: Their dad is great about getting them involved in things he is doing so they feel important- planting the garden, watering, making special dinners, drilling holes (with help)…it makes such a big difference to them to feel involved.
RACHAEL T: My dad…where do I begin? Well growing up we never really had a special bond. Which is sad but it made me strong in a way. After I had my first daughter that all changed. He started showing his love not only to me but my daughter as well. Oh boy what a joyous feeling that gave me inside. I now have 3 little girls and they are in love with him. I will never be able to repay him for all that he has done for me and my girls.
KATE: It is as if this is what he was born to do.
CARRI: He dances at the credits of every every movie.
KATHLEEN: My husband is an amazing first-time dad! He works hard and spends every extra second he has being goofy with our daughter. Now if he would just learn some normal lullabies instead of singing AC/DC to her.
JEN: We are blessed by him – the way he inspires us to change perspective, turning what feels like drudgery into fun – the way he models service without expectation of reward – the way he reflects back and celebrates who we are, our true identity, despite how we may be acting in the moment. We love that he’s in our lives, and we wouldn’t want it any other way.
ROBIN: Almost two years ago, we tried two IVF cycles and they failed. We grieved the loss of future children, but I knew my son had the best dad ever. In March of this year, we found out that my husband gets to be a dad for a second time When I asked what gift he wanted for Father’s Day, he pointed to our son and then my stomach and told me, “I already have them.”
LISA: When our daughter was just 7 months old – he went in for a routine medical procedure and 4 hours later he was clinging to life. Doctors told us he had no chance of survival – no one had survived before this. Yet he kept fighting. He had procedures every week for months and every time I’d hold up a photo of our baby girl and tell him what milestone she had met and how her father wants to be around for her next one. When things got very grim – the doctor told my husband to hold on for his daughter. And he did. Now doctors can tell a wife (or husband) who is crying in a waiting room – that the father of her child may make it. There’s hope.
After he was “in the clear” – we expanded our family and had our son. While pregnant with him, our daughter was diagnosed with moderate Autism. My husband never cried. He never got angry. He said – we’re going to take this head on. And we did. My daughter just turned 5 and you would never know she was even on the spectrum. My husband could have spent his days focusing on his illness, but instead he focused on his children. What they needed from him. And we are all so much better for it.
If my husband had given up and died – I don’t know if my daughter would be where she is today. Her and daddy are best friends (and her brother too she’d say – and mommy). He survived and every day is magical. While everything we do can be categorized as “therapeutic” for my daughter – we also make sure it’s also fun. Whether it be learning to play guitar or playing baseball or singing songs. Or super heroes. Or watching movies like Star Wars. I’m so grateful he fought to stick around. He would have missed the most amazing times of our lives.
Father’s Day is a reminder for all of us – how grateful we are that he fought so hard.
Happy Father’s Day to cool dads everywhere. Thanks so much to our readers for your amazing, soulful, heartfelt comments.
And psst…you still have until the end of day today, midnight PT June 15 to enter if you haven’t already. A comment on each 2014 Father’s Day Gift Guide post is another chance to win.