Father’s Day seems to be overlooked some times. There isn’t the build up like there is with Mother’s Day. The radio and TV aren’t filled with commercials about getting your dad the gift that tells them how much you love them. No sappy commercials. I think dads are far under appreciated, especially the dads in my life; my dad, my wonderful husband and my stepdad.

They say that you look for a man like your dad and they were right.

Josh is a lot like my dad in the very best ways. Not only has he been an amazing husband, but he is the most wonderful father to Ella. He was wrapped around her finger the first time her little hand touched his.

He beams when he sees her and I can almost see him melt every time she says dada. I thought I loved Josh before we had Ella. My love for him grew to a level I didn’t think possible.

There is a special bond between a father and his daughter unlike any other relationship.

My dad isn’t one to dole out hugs or say I love you or I’m proud of you. It’s just not his style. He quick with a joke or to poke a little fun at you…that’s his way of showing that he cares. When my parents split up, I refused to pick a side. I could never choose between two parents I loved equally. For all sorts of reasons I won’t get into, my brother and I lived with my dad.

For a long time, things were really hard. My dad worked all the time, sometimes four jobs at a time to make sure that Tom and I had food on the table and a roof over our heads. When I look back on those years, I don’t think about him being gone, I think about how he still made time to take us to the park to play catch, or to go play putt-putt. I think about how whenever I had a sleepover, he would make chicken fajitas because they were my favorite. I think about listening to The Beatles as we drove to Colorado to visit my stepmom (before she was my stepmom) while we ate Cheez-Its, Twizzlers and played the ABC game.

As I grew up, we had a father-daughter date night from time to time. He taught me how to drive and grounded me when I did something stupid. He was pretty strict when I was a teenager always telling me that nothing good happened after midnight. He always looked with a sideways glance at my boyfriends and never liked any of them. I hated it at the time, but realized, he was right. Nothing that I needed to be involved in happened after midnight and those guys I dated, they were not for me.

When I graduated from high school and moved up to college he would come visit every once in a while and take me to dinner, but we kind of drifted a bit. Friends and my independent life were my priority. When I met Josh, I couldn’t wait to introduce him to my dad. I knew finally, I had meet the one and my dad was actually going to like him. I told Josh, just talk about the Huskers, easy conversation starter. My very unintimidating dad, totally intimidated Josh, but for the first time, my dad didn’t tell me that my boyfriend was a duffus.

He didn’t object when I told him that we wanted to move in together or wanted to buy a house. He only slightly winced when I told him we were going to get married some day.

When that day was on the horizon, I told Josh I would not accept a proposal if he didn’t ask my dad’s permission. He asked him in the garage of our new house. The house my dad spent weekend after weekend helping us find. All he said to Josh, ‘Sure.’ I wouldn’t have expected any other answer…so my dad. At our rehearsal my dad was joking around as we practiced our walk down the aisle, but when it came to my wedding day, there was no more joking. It was the moment I was most excited for (of course other than marrying Josh).

My dad was walking me down the aisle to my husband. Once we reached the end, he hugged me and whispered in my ear that he loved me.

I fought back tears as he told him I loved him to. It was just how I’d imagined it, better.

We might not always agree and have our spats now and then, but he’s my dad. It brings joy to my heart to see him in his new role as a grandfather. Mr. I don’t hold other people’s kids, is more than happy to hold Ella. I watched them this weekend. Ella sitting on his lap sharing her cheddar bunnies with him and a smile crossed my lips and my heart.

A little long winded, but I can’t leave out my stepdad. Mike came into my life just five short years ago. He didn’t miss a beat embracing my siblings, Josh and me as if we were his own children. He’s shown us unconditional love and generousity, for that I am so thankful.

Happy Father’s Day a little late, to the amazing dads out there. How lucky I am to have the men in my life that I do. Thank you for loving me and showing me what a real man is.

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