Here's the most obvious statement you'll read all day: being a parent is tough. I mean, I haven't even survived toddlerhood yet and there are some days I catch myself daydreaming about my 40s, when my kids will be grown up. Mom of the year award goes to me. But in all seriousness, now think about being your parent. Whether you were well behaved or a wild child, chances are you gave your parents a run for their money. And with the added benefit of hindsight, there are probably some things you'll want to say to your dad on Father's Day now that you're a parent yourself.
In addition to understanding the pain of changing 100 diapers a day, parenthood also has a way of making people incredibly sentimental. Though, of all the days to be mushy, Father's Day is a good one. And for me it's really not that hard. My dad was the guy who cooked me pancakes shaped like Mickey Mouse and taught me how to ride my bike without training wheels. He was there for me through my first high school heartbreak and told me lots of things I didn't want to hear (things that, looking back, I realize he actually was a lot smarter than I thought he was). So in honor of my dad, and all dads who really knew what they were talking about, here are the things they deserved to hear a long time ago.
1. "Thank You."
It sounds generic and obvious, but that's because it really should be. After having kids of my own, I'm fully aware of the sacrifices my dad made for me growing up. No two words can really sum it all up except thank you.
2. "I'm Sorry."
I know, not the most cheery way to kick of his Father's Day. But honestly, this is the man who dealt with your terrible two's temper tantrums (say that five times fast), and who gave you back the keys to your car after running into a mailbox when you were 16. If anything, parenthood teaches us that it's far more unglamorous than we think and requires daily sacrifice.
3. "You Were Right."
The phrase "mother knows best" really should include fathers too. Because there were so many instances, particularly from the ages of 13 to 19, when I thought my dad really didn't know what he was talking about. Now, looking back and putting my own daughters in my shoes, I realize that not only did he know exactly what was up, I would say the same things to my girls that he told me.
4. "Thanks For Showing Me How Real Men Act."
As the mother of two daughters, there's nothing that scares me more than knowing there are men who don't respect women out there. My dad, however, taught me about my true worth and made sure I knew how I deserved to be treated from a very young age. Dads like that deserve to be celebrated.
5. "We Should Spend More Time Together."
The thought of not having my kids in the house anymore (after I get over the immediate feelings of excitement and relief, of course) is slightly a little bit terrifying. I'm not ready to let them go and I don't think any parent really ever is. Offering to spend more time with your dad this Father's Day is something he's probably been dying to hear for a long time.