The Anon Storybook: Dad

“You’re just like your dad.”

Every time I hear this, a smile forms on my face without warning. I don’t respond. There’s no point. He’s my dad and I’m more proud of him than anyone could ever know.

I was born to a very young single mother. I didn’t know the details until I was much older of course. She was a child herself. Naïve. Vulnerable. Sometimes, I try to peek past the woman I know now to somehow see into the past and catch a glimpse of that girl. She was strong for me. I’ll never know everything that she gave up.

When he showed up, he changed both our lives. He didn’t just give me his name. He showed me what being a man looks like. He taught me respect. He taught me to love, starting with myself. He gave me a fatherhood that many boys my age only dream of. He taught me how to fly with wings I didn’t know I had been growing all the while. He taught me to look into my heart for the wealth I didn’t know I had been saving for myself.

At midnight, I turn 18. They will say that I have become a man. I’m glad that I have had a real man walking before me, in whose steps I could follow. I’m so thankful to God that while we walked, this man paused long enough to listen for my steps, took the time to point out valuable lessons along the way and where I couldn’t walk, he carried me on his shoulders.

I’m proud to be his son. I am like him because he fathered me.

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