Hey Dad,

It’s me. I would never be able to say this to you face to face because I’m my awkward self when it comes to emotions and so I’m taking the Coward’s way out and writing you a letter instead.

First of all, I wanted to wish you a Happy Father’s Day! Fathers everywhere are under appreciated and so are mothers but I’m not here to talk about every father and mother and child, I’m here to talk about you and me.

I’ve written this over and over in articles and birthday cards but I’ll say it again, you were my childhood.

You taught me that fashion was what I wanted to wear and if I spent my lifetime wearing polos and sneakers then that was my choice to make. You taught me that there was nothing wrong with being a girl and liking Star Wars over Barbie. Nothing wrong with wanting to climb trees instead of playing with dollhouses.

That it wasn’t unnatural if I didn’t like the colour pink and that being a girl didn’t mean I couldn’t be good at sports. You taught me that I defined myself, not my gender and that is something I will be eternally grateful for.

Because I’ll never need to wait for a Prince Charming, I can damn well fight my own battles and if Prince Charming wants to tag along, then well, that’s up to him.

What’s even bigger than that was you teaching me not to stereotype men while fighting against stereotypes for women. You taught me that it was perfectly normal (and sort of awesome) that you could have your laptop wallpaper as a scene from Tangled. You taught me that the society cannot dictate what I do, and I cannot dictate what others do either.

It was also thanks to you that I could pursue my interest in Engineering to its fullest. You gave me my first screwdriver set and never stopped me from unscrewing random equipment as long as I could put it back together. You’re the reason I was the cool kid who could fix earphones and switchboards in college.

You also taught me that cool is a social construct. I can be totally uncool to most people, but still be cool to those that matter. You taught me that parents don’t have to stand above and dictate but are available to talk as well.

You taught me the importance of family. The importance of knowing that people aren’t perfect and you’ve got to accept people with their flaws and move on. Everyone’s got something they don’t like about themselves and everyone deals with it differently. And that’s perfectly fine.

So thank you, for being my father, thanks for introducing me to basically everything I know now. Thanks for shoving me headlong into things I was too afraid to try. Thanks for supporting me dreams, even when they were a tad unconventional.

Thank you for everything Daddy!

Happy Father’s Day!

-Lalli

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