A New Year’s Day Thank You to My Dad

Gratitude is good for your psychological health, and now researchers are even tracking whether or not gratitude could have physical health benefits, too. So I thought what better way to invigorate writing about fatherhood and faith than a thank you list to my dad.

The job of parenting rarely receives accolades. I don’t think I even started appreciating my mom and dad until my mid-20s when I began to do all the things they had done for myself on my own. And only once I reached fatherhood myself have I been able to really see all the things my dad did for me, not to mention all of the things I never really saw or experienced first hand. Fatherhood is a behind the scenes job at times.

So here are a few things that I’m thankful to you for over the years, Dad:

Thanks for all the camping trips in the family camper.

Thanks for planning all the necessary gear for these vacation camping trips.

Thanks for encouraging me to join scouting.

Thanks for bailing me out as a high school driver with a flat tire at a midnight hour in that shady part of town.

Thanks for being there in some of my most difficult times.

Thanks for providing everything we needed as a family and most of everything we wanted (and the only reason I say most is because I tend to always want more.)

Thanks for providing stability and creative comforts for all three of us kids growing up.

Thanks for showing up every day. So many dads physically or mentally check out, and you kept showing up present.

Thanks for bringing us to church growing up. A study in Switzerland says that dad’s church attendance has a greater impact on the kids’ future attendance than a mothers. May be a reason that as an adult I have returned to church service.

Thanks for being willing to always fix what what’s broken. From radiators to toy strollers, your determination and insight have kept many things on the road for our family.

Thanks for the custom set of bunk beds growing up.

Thanks for always being willing to babysit your grandchildren whenever you’re able, whether they are sick or not.

Thanks for being willing to loan your tools out for a handy work around the house.

Thanks for modeling determination and hard work, whether it’s retiring with a solid pention program or running 26 marathons, the results speak for themselves.

Thanks for never showing your fears (assuming you had them, as I know I would have if these would happen to me as a father) during my various hospital stays. Your stoicism was always the rock of hope during those times.

Thanks for your willingness to wrestle with us youngsters. They say that this very thing alone teaches risk-taking, boundary-setting and social skills.

Thanks for your love for Christmas. You’ve always valued traditions and suprises.

Thanks for modeling responsibility and committment.

You’re a good dad, and I hope to continue to model these values to the best of my ability to my kids. Here’s to 2019.


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