Dear Dad, or Pops as you are to me,
Rupi Kaur wrote, as part of her collection of poems Milk and Honey.
i struggle so deeply
how someone can
pour their entire soul
blood and energy
– i will have to wait till i’m a mother
But this has not been Mom for the past four years or more. This is you, Pops – here’s to the most loving, supportive, and heroic Dad there ever was. Here’s to the Dad who makes me struggle so deeply to understand how you can pour your entire soul, blood, and energy into us three kids, without ever wanting anything in return – Rupi Kaur could not have said it any better, with the exception of the parental figure being a tad mixed up.
If anything, you want love, compassion, kindness, and especially “no drama!” in return, but these things are only to help us, your children, grow as people. You want us to learn to fight for what we believe in, to help others when they fall, and to all just get along. The best lessons we have learned have come from you, Pops, and these are the lessons that have shaped, and will forever continue to shape, us your children. You are the definition of what kind of father-figure children deserve to have in their lives, and we could not be more grateful to have such an amazing role model completely present in our home.
A Dad is one of two parents; yet in our case, you take on both roles. A Dad should not have to be the Mom and the Dad; yet in our case, you are both. You have two full-time jobs: your “real” job, or the job in which you go to an office, check emails, and perform as a real estate broker, and your “other” job, or the job in which you take care of your children full-time, doing carpool, cooking, cleaning, helping with homework, and being the reliable and stable emotional support we need. Pops, we look up to you like no other.
I struggle to understand how you manage it, every day, of every week, of every month, of every year of the last few years that Mom has been absent. While you may get weekends off, sick days, or vacation time from one job, there is never a break from the other. I feel chills knowing how hard you work, how much effort and determination you pour into your every day tasks, and always coming out with a smile on your face, dinner cooking on the stovetop, and a humorous joke making us yell, “Daaaad!”
Pops, there is no way I can put into words how grateful I am for everything that you’ve done for me, nor can I possibly list it all. Thank you for always making the drives to preschool fun by windily driving up the roads (shh, our secret). Thank you for putting the Christmas tree on top of the car, and always forgetting it’s there and still driving into the garage. Thank you for kissing my finger after my first bumblebee sting at our old house. Thank you for always taking me to Indian Princesses events, and always playing Beanie Baby Bingo even when we played it way too many times. Thank you for always being at every dance recital, graduation, and important event. Thank you for always helping me jump-start my car when its battery died – and thank you for my Triple-A Car Survival Kit for Christmas, with two sets of jumper cables, just in case.
Thank you for helping me up every time I fall. Thank you for your thirty-second bear hugs, and for your endless supply of jokes, even though they may not always be said at appropriate times. Thank you for supporting me and telling me that I can be anything I want to be, as long as I set my mind to it. Thank you for always being there for us kids, even when the going gets extremely tough as a two-in-one parent. And most importantly, thank you for setting the amazing example and putting into action the act of never giving up.
Dads often may not get as much credit as they deserve, especially the kinds of Dads like you. With you, Pops, it is always Father’s Day, and you deserve to be celebrated every day.