The girl at the breakfast bar looked up at her father.
“I heard it’s Father’s day today…..is that true?”
The father nodded and laughed.
“Why yes I believe it is! Do you have a wonderful gift laying around somewhere waiting in surprise for me?”
The girl returned the laughter….
“Um. not quite…truthfully…. I didn’t realise until mum told me it was today….
is kind of lucky for you….because that means no pre-planned mug from the fathers day stall saying “I love you dad” and it also means no magnet to stick on the fridge saying “Worlds best dad” and it also means no silver money clip engraved with the words “mum already cleaned me out” so….let me see….
instead of me picking a gift for you this year…..why don’t you suggest a gift for me to give to you?
By the way?
So it will need to be free.
Or you can pay.”
The father laughed at his daughter.
“Ok. A free gift you can give me for fathers day huh? Ok. Sure. Here. What about this? Can you write me a card? Like when you were little? Or what about a picture? You used to always make me pictures when you were little….or….what about this?
We could make one together. I’m sure if you ask mum, she’ll let you into her scrapbooking stuff, and we can spend a few hours hanging out together making something….what do you think?”
The girl smiled.
“So, what have you got there?” The father looked at the 9 square collage.
“Do you want to tell me what these images are, or should I guess?”
The girl squealed with delight…
“Eeeek! Yes! You guess!! See if you can remember what each one was…”
The father looked at them…
“Ok….let me see….number #1. Oh! That’s easy! That’s me and your mum….and your first pair of shoes. Your mum loves shoes!! And as soon as she knew you would be a girl, she announced it to the world with a pair of ruby red slippers.
Now…what’s this?? Aaah! I remember that!! Your mum is still mad at me about that….
I wanted you to know what it meant to be able to be on your own as much as I wanted to you to know what it was like to ride with the pack. That was your first bike lesson. Your mum still talks about that one at the dinner table today….
Oh yes! This is where you first fell in love with swan lake. You would make your mum and I take you there all the time just so you could see the swan’s. Once you found out there was a ballet called Swan Lake, you begged your mother and I to allow you be a swan, lest you die of a broken heart!
I remember this.
This is where I taught you that you could fly in the sky, so long as you learned control. Do you remember that? You hated that kite forever!!! It always crashed. You could never keep it in the air. You used to cry and get so frustrated and wanted to give up!! Once you got the hang of it though, you wouldn’t stop. You would fly that kite each and every day for years.
This one is where you met everyone at work……
This one was where I taught you that art pays…
This one is where Mum and I told you there were things in the world that could only be seen from a different place. And that sometimes people would not believe you if they had not seen it for themselves, no matter how much you tried to share the truth with them…
This one is where I told you that you had to make a choice.
Either allow the monsters to scare you and forever look away with fear, or instead learn to walk straight into the jaws of it with courage and the ability to say:”
“I’m not scared of anyone other than myself.
The only person I am afraid of is me.
And if I choose to live with courage and grace, then there is nothing in the world I will ever need to fear.”
This one was out the front of your first ballet concert when grandma and grandpa were talking about how terrible of a dancer you were, but that if you followed your dreams you would find a way to make your own way in the world of ballet you loved so much.
The girl smiled and hugged her dad.
“Thanks for everything Dad.
Happy Fathers Day!”