Maybe it’s just that I’m getting older, but lately I’ve been really appreciating my dad more and more. When I look back on my childhood, I can honestly say it was pretty darn good. Back then, most dads were the primary bread winners and moms either stayed home and took care of the kids, or had part time jobs. A dad’s role was to bring home the paycheck and take care of things around the house. By the standards of the day, my dad was awesome! He worked really hard to provide for a wife and 5 kids and I never, ever remember going without things that we needed. The cars were always taken care of, the lawn always got mowed, and never once did Dad come home late after work because he was drinking at the bar with his buddies! Every Sunday (twice on Sunday) and every Wednesday without fail we were in church. Although there were many times I complained about not being able to do the things other kids did on Sundays, it was good for us kids, and taught us to value God, family, and taking a day of rest. Dad went above and beyond what a lot of fathers did for their kids. He attended our sporting events, took the boys hunting, saved like a mad man so we could all have a college education, and took us on a family vacation each year. After 50 plus years, we still go to Minnesota every summer to spend a week together fishing and having fun as an extended family with our own kids...and their kids! So many traditional family values have gone by the wayside in today’s world. Some dads don’t take any responsibility for their kids, while other dads are single parents through no fault of their own. Dads are pulled in all directions to be more and give for while being marginalized by society as a whole. As a result, many have forgotten what it’s like to be men, to be leaders in their families without being tyrants in doing so. Was my family perfect? Heavens no! I probably complained more about my dad and his ways of doing things than any of my siblings; but at some point, I grew up and realized that my dad was my dad. He had his ways of doing things and that was not going to change. He had his way of loving, even if it wasn’t what I could understand at the time. He had his way of disciplining and as much as I hated having the fear of God (and my dad) put in me, it was probably what kept me out of a lot more trouble than what I got into. The Bible says, “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, and I reasoned like a child, but when I became a man (or grew up) I put away childish things. (I Corinthians 13:11) It took me a lot of years to realize I was a pretty lucky kid, and I had a pretty great dad. We often express our emotions toward our moms, because~well, they’re moms, and we can do that. Dads usually only get appreciated this one day a year. I know my dad won’t always be here with us, so there’s no time like the present to say the obvious. Here’s to you, Dad. You’re an exceptional man and I’m thankful that I’m your daughter!