I wanted to stop and tell you—because sometimes my busy mind can't put it into words—that you. are. awesome.

You're the best dad in the world, and I am beyond lucky you're mine.

So…thank you.

Thank you for never hesitating to roar like a lion, crawl like a puppy or jump around like a monkey.

Thank you for your giant bear hugs and belly laughs. They always make me laugh, too.

Thank you for occasionally turning a blind eye to my very large, out-of-the-tub bath splashing.

Thank you for always attempting to out-silly me in funny face competitions. You are really good at them.

Thank you for dancing your heart out to Beyonce and singing along (quite passionately, if I may add) to the Tangled soundtrack. (I think you really enjoy this stuff. And that makes me the happiest.)

Thank you for getting *just* as excited as I do to watch Big Hero 6.

Thank you for always cuddling with me when I'm scared at night—no matter how early you have to get up for work.

Thank you for teaching me how to take care of our garden—that we can grow and eat some of our own food, and that we should be proud of that.

Thank you for taking me on adventures. Going on hikes with you are moments I'll carry with me forever. I really appreciate you stopping to point out all the chipmunks or to listen to the birdies.

Thank you for cooking me dinner, especially macaroni and meatballs, and sitting with me to eat it.

Thank you for putting me on your shoulders and giving me piggy back rides. I know it can probably hurt sometimes, or at least make you tired—so I appreciate the dedication. Being three can be exhausting, to be honest.

Thank you for doing my hair (low ponytails rule!) and showing me how to properly brush my teeth and my tongue.

Thank you for teaching me how to pray and how to take care of my little sister. I yell at her sometimes when I'm mad, but you always help me to see that using my (calm) words is probably a safer bet. (She doesn't respond well to my loud voice, surprisingly.)

Thank you for telling me exciting stories and reading to me and encouraging me to be passionate about learning new things. I'm curious, just like you.

Thank you for encouraging me to try new things. Who knew I'd love sports class so much or how fabulous I would be at somersaults? You! That's who!

Thank you for loving Mommy the way you do. She lights up when she sees you. I watch you guys laugh with each other and sneak kisses. It makes me feel safe and loved.

Thank you for letting me wear your glasses to pretend I'm you. It's funny...we both know it.

Thank you for letting me steal your phone and run around like a wild maniac when we're FaceTiming Grandma and Grandpa. It's really pretty hilarious to me.

Thank you for throwing me really, really, really high in the air. You make me feel like I can fly. I hope I always feel like that inside.

Thank you for working hard for me. I know you want the best for me. And I already feel like I have the best. Because I have our family.

Thank you for really looking at me. For seeing me. For listening to me.

Thank you for wanting to be there for me. To get to know me. To help me grow.

Thank you for being patient with me. I know I can be frustrating at times. But it's because I'm trying to learn about life and learn how to navigate these big feelings I have.

I'm always trying to make you laugh and smile. To make you happy and proud.

Dad, you make me feel like I can do anything and be anything I want to be. Like I'm the strongest kid in the world. Like I'm braver than any superhero out there. Like I'm a genius.

And I am.

Strong. Brave. And intelligent.

Because you and Mommy believe in me.

Because I'm watching you, Dad.

You're showing me every single day how to be this person. You walk the walk.

And I'll always be right here with you, holding your hand every step of the way.

I love you.


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