"What I never knew about my dad..."
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Fathers & Daughters1 of 11
By Brienne Walsh
You will probably always be Daddy's little girl and he will always be your number one fan. But over the years—if you're lucky—you get to see your dad anew, as more than the enforcer of curfew, the lender of money, the master of grilling. In honor of Father's Day, we asked ten women to reveal what they've discovered about their own dads—and why they love them even more as a result.
He Has a Gentle Heart2 of 11
"My dad can be quite intimidating—but recently, he told me a story that made me realize he's actually a softie. He was living in Australia, driving around late at night when he hit something. He got out of the car, and saw that it was a wombat, one of the many strange little creatures that only exist in Australia. The wombat was severely injured, and there was nothing my dad could do. So he stayed with him until he passed away. He says he still thinks of that wombat often and how sad he was to have hurt it."
He Knows About Heartbreak3 of 11
"Growing up my father's music career was a huge part of our lives. I think this is why listening to my father's lyrics as a young adult (and not a little girl) was such a shocking experience for me. It was amazing to hear such heartbreakingly beautiful words and discover what a romantic my father really was. It allowed me to imagine him before he had a family and what he must have been like as a teenager."
He Sacrificed for Me4 of 11
"My grandfather, who raised me with my grandmother, walked 20-minutes to work every day because he didn't have a driver's license. When I was little, during summer break, he came home for lunch every day. I sat on his lap and ate a grilled cheese and tomato soup and watched Hollywood Squares. Later, after he died, my grandmother told me that he went into work 30 minutes early and stayed 30 minutes longer just to have that time with me. Because my dad wasn't in my life, he wanted me to feel extra loved."
He Grew Up for Me5 of 11
"Right after having me, my mom went back to work as an ER nurse on the night shift, so my father took care of me in the evenings. He recently told me that sometimes, it would get so lonely and cramped in our tiny Bronx apartment that he would bundle me up, and take me for walks. One morning, just as the sun was rising, he ran into a group of his friends who were just ending their night at the local bar. My dad would have been with them, had it not been for me, 6 months old and looking up at him from the stroller. At 23, he realized he was no longer a boy—his adult life had begun."
He's a Champion6 of 11
"I never realized how talented my dad is. He was always just Dad to me—my lunch packer, my homework helper, my table tennis teacher. It wasn't until I was older that I realized that I was actually learning skills from an expert. Before he became a father, he had almost become a professional table tennis player."
He's a Tough Guy7 of 11
"My cerebral scientist father was apparently a boxing champ at the tender age of 5. His own father was very athletic, so my father tried hard as a child to bond with my grandfather over sports, including taking up boxing at sleep-away camp where he captured an undefeated title. Picturing the youthful determination my dad must have had then and knowing that he eventually experienced an intellectual bond with his own children warms my heart. But, as a mother of a young son, it absolutely horrifies me to imagine kindergartners punching each other in the face!"
He's an Amazing Husband8 of 11
"I don't think I ever realized or appreciated how much my father truly loves my mother. After 40 years of marriage, he still likes to take her away for a weekend. He calls her every evening to let her know he's on his way home from work, and he relishes doing small favors, like folding the laundry or picking up groceries. My father's greatest love is my mother, and his greatest joy is the family that he has created with her. It's the best example any child could ask for."
He Goes Out of His Way for Others9 of 11
"After graduating from college earlier this year, I reached out to one of my dad's friends to help me with my job search. Not only did the friend send my résumé along, but he also helped me land interviews for full-time positions. He told me that he went out of his way because my father had always been so incredibly generous not only with him, but also with so many other people. His gratitude for my father was passed down to me, and it is something I will carry forever."
He's Made Mistakes10 of 11
"I used to be a reckless driver until my father told me a story about how he almost hit a pedestrian in New York City. He had just come back to the United States after spending his teenage years in Israel, and he was supporting himself as a taxi driver. If he had hit the guy, he would have lost everything. After watching me dangerously maneuver myself into a parking spot, he told me about the experience. Somehow, it made him seem more human; an equal rather than some foreign authority figure."
He Created His Own Language11 of 11
"At 14, my father was sent to the U.S. from Mexico to receive an American education. He quickly became fluent in English and it wasn't until he met my mom that he started to use his native Spanish again regularly. What I didn't know until recently was that whenever he didn't remember a word, he made one up. I've used these made-up words my whole life and never knew they weren't actually Spanish."
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