The Words I’ll Never Have The Courage To Say To My Dad

Dear Dad,

I’m thankful that you are such a great provider for the family, but not so thankful for the memories you have left stained in my brain like the grass ones on my childhood jeans from trying to teach myself to ride a bike. See, you weren’t there as much as you should have been. I needed you to be around and you thought that monetary gifts or buying me things was enough. I grew up knowing what a dad was, but not knowing what a father is.

To be fair, you were there sometimes. But fatherhood isn’t something I think you should treat like a game of Peek-a-Boo, only showing up briefly when you think it’s right, then disappearing behind yourself again. I think you may be the reason I’m content with temporary people. See, you never taught me what it was like to have a man come into my life and stay.

A lot of people ask me about you, questioning if you left or if you and mom got divorced. I always found it shocking how often I forget to mention you to people, although, you haven’t left me with much to discuss. I know you try to show your love for me in ways you think are crystal clear, but are really just muddy puddles you keep dragging the same stick through. I think when you fill the car up for me, you’re really saying “I love you.” And when you taught me how to change the oil and tires on the car, you were attempting to say “be safe.” However, those moments also made me realize that you could only talk to me if it were about cars, and if it wasn’t, well, we didn’t have much to talk about.

You missed my graduation and can’t remember half of my friend’s names, yet you know the waitresses at the bar by nicknames and make time for the concerts held at the pub. When I was younger, I remember waking up at 5 am to say goodbye to you before you left for work, and I guess when I stopped doing that, we stopped making time for one another.

I always wanted to be a “daddy’s girl” in the most cliche way possible. But you see, that’s a little hard to do when you’re never around. I wish you took more time to know the woman I’ve become, instead of retelling your boss the same stories from my childhood. You don’t actually know me, and I guess I don’t know you all that well either.

Thank you for still being in my life, I just wish you would take a more consistent role in the story I’m trying to tell. I’m tired of having you be a secondary character when I know you have the potential to be the hero. Dad, just because I’m growing up, doesn’t mean that I don’t need you. It’s too late to make up for my childhood, but there will always be a spot in my life for you, I’m just waiting for you to sit in it. Please, be more present in my life instead of making me beg for the attention I always wanted to be given to me the way a father should with his daughter.


Your Patient Daughter

Featured image via Gabby K on Pexels


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