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Portland, OR
USA

I exist to help dads learn to communicate and engage with their young adult daughters.  I provide resources from my vast amounts of research and experience with dads and daughters, and this is the place where you'll find the tools you need to become the hero you've always wanted to be.

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Dear Dad…What I Wish I’d Said to You Years Ago

Michelle Watson


(I invite you to read this heartfelt letter I wrote to my dad for Father’s Day this year. And rest assured that much of what he’s done to invest in me over the years were things I wasn’t necessarily thinking were significant at the time. That part came later. I trust this will encourage you dads to keep staying the course as you make forever deposits in your daughter’s life, choosing to believe that the day will come when she will look back and remember).

Dear Dad…

Sometimes the beauty of growing older means that things look different from this angle. I know I’ve thanked you for your consistent investment in my life many times over the years, but this year I want to highlight some things that maybe I’ve not fully appreciated until now.

Thank you…
…for choosing, along with Mom, to let my birth happen. Even after finding out that you were pregnant with me before you were married, you took the high road and allowed for me to be born. People didn’t tend to be open about those things in 1960 and I am deeply grateful that you chose life.

Thank you…
…for letting me fall asleep on your chest, even as a newborn because it apparently was one of the only places I could settle down.

Thank you…
…for getting on the floor to play and wrestle while lifting me “high in the sky” and actually enjoying it even after a long day at work.

Thank you…
…for taking me to the park and hiding coins in the bark dust, letting me believe that it all magically appeared out of nowhere, and making me feel like the richest girl on the block (now that I think about it, I still am).

Thank you…
…for making up bedtime stories while we girls placed an imaginary “thinking cap” on the top of your head, the miraculous enchanted hat by which the all-time best stories were birthed from a dad who loved seeing his little girls giggle and dream.

Thank you…
…for going the extra mile to build unique and spectacular things that made your daughters childhood a bit better---from putting wheels on a milk crate and attaching handlebars so we had the best one-of-a-kind scooter imaginable (the envy of the neighborhood) to putting a light bulb in the corner of our kitchen cupboard to make the most fantastic cubby hole fort that ever existed.

Thank you…
…for making it a priority to take our annual all-day trek to get a Christmas tree and creating the fun tradition of singing songs repeatedly at the top of our lungs along the way, songs that still make Christmas beautiful when I hear them (“I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus” and “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth” were two of our greatest hits, don’t you think?).

Thank you...
…for creating memories with us girls that were 180 degrees different from what your dad did with you, making a concerted effort to walk in the opposite direction of the hand you were dealt while investing time and energy to be a dialed-in dad.

Thank you…
…for years and years of diligently accepting your role as the infamous “cutter-of-the-bangs.” And for the record, I do forgive you for the innumerable times the final result turned out less than we’d hoped for due to my cowlick. My fifth grade school photo, however, doesn’t feel the same way.

Thank you…
…for taking me on my first date to the Rheinlander when I was 16 and making me wait in the car until you came around and opened the door, telling me that you wanted me to never settle for a guy who didn’t do the same.

Thank you…
…for recusing me on the freeway when my car was broken down and all I could do was cry.

Thank you…
…for wiping my tears and rescuing me when my heart was broken down after a breakup…or two…or three and all I could do was cry.  

Thank you…
…for repairing every broken thing in my house that has ever needed your inventive, inexpensive, impressive, ingenious fix.

Thank you…
…for taking me to Nordstrom for the past 25 years at Christmastime where together we have smelled more scents than we could ever count while creating one of the best traditions ever:  Perfume Day! Every one you’ve bought me is a beautiful representation of your love for me, a love that knows how to spoil your daughter in a big, big way every year.

Thank you…
…for never giving up on me and for continuing to pursue a relationship with me throughout my entire life, even with all my emotional up’s and down’s and even during times where we bonk heads and disagree, always showing me that a dad’s love lasts throughout the lifespan.

I know that words can’t truly express how much I love you, but just know from the depths of my heart that you mean the world to me!  And in case I don’t tell you enough, just remember again today how grateful I am for every single deposit you’ve made in my life through the years, big and small.

Happy Fathers Day, Dad.


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