Father, Papa, Daddy — whatever you call the man who helped raise you or is helping raise your children, today is the day to celebrate him. This is the one day a year when it’s all about him. We should make fathers feel special, tell them we love them, and tell them exactly why we love them. Here are just 25 of the many reasons we love dads:
1. They’ll pick you up when you fall.
When you were 4 and skinned your knee after falling off your bike, your dad was there to kiss the boo-boo. When you’re away from home and your roommate leaves without notice and your electricity is about to be shut off, your dad makes sure the lights stay on.
2. They’re more fun to have tea parties with.
Same goes for playing with dolls or dress up or painting our nails. Some things are just way more fun when dad joins in.
3. They make cool things.
My father-in-law made a gorgeous dollhouse and little doll furniture for his kids. My dad made me a beautiful CD display case. With some wood and inspiration to make their kids’ dreams come true, they make magic happen.
4. They are the bug killers.
When there’s a giant spider peering down at you from the ceiling right after you climb into bed, who ya gonna call? Dad to the rescue!
5. Their farts are way funnier.
I don’t know what it is about the differences between men’s and women’s gastrointestinal systems, but if you think farts are funny, you probably learned that from your dad.
6. They’re adventure-seekers.
Hike in the rain? He’s ready! Bike ride in a new town? He’ll get the helmets! Snowboarding, water skiing, horseback riding? Dads are ready to get their adrenaline racing and blood pumping and have a good time.
7. They give the best hugs.
Something about their masculinity or their bone structure or something just makes us all feel a little safer in a word of uncertainty when they wrap their arms around us and tell us everything’s going to be OK.
8. They don’t pull punches.
They’re straightforward and will tell you exactly what you need to hear whether it’s something you want to hear or not. They tell it like it is, and though sometimes they may hurt your feelings with their brash honesty, they only do it because they love you.
9. They teach us the art of the nap.
Dads know how to nap, and they know how to do it well. If you’re lucky, they will start teaching you at a young age the value of one and the ability to do it anywhere at any time.
10. They teach their sons how to respect women.
Of course anyone can teach this lesson with words, but it means so much more watching a man practice what he preaches while his little boy watches and learns from his actions.
11. They teach their daughters to have high standards when it comes to the man they marry.
If a dad is doing it right then his little girl will want to marry a man just like him — a man who is strong and compassionate, a hard worker, and a fierce friend. They set an almost impossible example for their daughter’s future beau to live up to.
12. They go crazy in the kitchen.
Flipping pancakes 3 feet into the air. Blow-torching the tops of crème brûlée. Serving up some kick-ass chili. Dads go balls to the wall when they’re cooking and they make it fun for everyone in the room.
13. They hold the family together.
It doesn’t matter if there’s a tragedy or just a minor life event, dads are the glue that keep everyone from losing their shit when life gets uncertain and scary.
14. They always come home from the grocery store with the good stuff.
No shopping trip would be complete if dads didn’t walk through the door with a couple tubs of ice cream, some chips, pizza rolls, popcorn, candy, and a movie for everyone to watch.
15. They’re the life of the party.
Whether they’re playing pool or doing a cannon ball at a pool party, dads are notorious for being crazy and cool and fun to be around.
16. They make us laugh.
When we’re just not sure if we can ever even smile again, we turn to our dads, and they make it happen. It could be a joke we’ve heard a million times growing up or a new one-liner they heard from a friend, but dads know how to get us giggling.
17. They help potty train our sons.
I mean, of course moms can do this too, but I’d much rather have someone with the same plumbing teach my son to aim into the toilet — and subsequently teach little boys to wipe off the seat if they get a little crazy.
18. They taught us how to throw a proper punch.
Or maybe just how to make the best spitball. Either way, they taught us some really important stuff.
19. They tell the best scary stories at sleepovers.
Sure, your friends may be too terrified to stay the night again, but the fact he made your BFF simultaneously scream and pee her pants is worth it.
20. They will kill anyone who hurts us.
OK, not really. But we know they love us so much that when their faces get red and the veins in their forehead start to pulse, we wonder if we should have the police on standby.
21. They give the best piggyback rides.
Admit it: You either still ask your dad for one or you wish you could have just one more.
22. They taught us how to dance.
Maybe not exactly the right steps or moves, but they were our first dance partner, and in those moments, they taught us we were loved.
23. They let us win at games.
Although this meant falsely believing we were going to be the next Bobby Fischer, seeing the joy on our dad’s face because of how happy we were about our “victory” makes for some great memories.
24. They teach us to be ourselves.
Dads march to the beat of their own drum and aren’t shamed of it. Tie-dye shirts in a WASP-y vacation town or a motorcycle jacket at church, they are who they are without apology and they pass that lesson down their kids.
25. They can fix anything.
From broken lamps to a broken heart, a dad is always there to put the pieces back together.
So thank you, dear fathers, papas, and dads. Thank you for your wisdom, your strength, your laughter, and your belief in us. May this day be special and memorable, and may you feel loved beyond measure.