“I found my prince. His name is Daddy.”
by Greg Hague
Since 1997, the children of Illinois have written more than 400,000 essays about their dads. The subject is “What My Father Means to Me.” It’s part of the Illinois Fatherhood Initiative’s annual Fatherhood Essay Contest.
My friend, David Hirsch, founded this project and was kind enough to allow Savvy Dad to share three of the best from the pen — or crayon — of three special kids, word for word.
From David, 1st Grade:
“My father is the most important man in my life. He was loving, caring, thoughtful and cool.
He had a lungs disease that made it hard to breathe. But that did not stop him.
He used to bring my sister and I to the park. He sat at my side while he helped me learn my ABC’s, count my 123, and teach me how to read. He used to call me Bud-Bud.
Every school break when he was not sick, he took our family for a vacation.
Even my dad is dead, I love him very much. He is the best dad that a kid could ever have.”
From Lisa, 3rd Grade:
“In my life, it is my grandfather who really means something to me. My granddad means a lot because he does so many things for me.
When I was five, I was scared of many things, my granddad never made fun of me. He would sit with me in my room until I would fall asleep.
He told me bedtime stories about Bigfoot. He would even look under the bed for monsters and not ever left me. He taught me how to get rid of bedtime monsters.
Now my granddad is the one who needs me. He can’t walk. Now I help him.
I tell him bedtime stories. I get him a drink when he needs one. I even get to feed him and it is fun. Sometimes I know he is telling me a story with his eyes and I smile and give him a big hug.
I love you so much, Clifton. Yes, I do.”
From Donna, 11th Grade:
“For years I have been a foster child. I have never known the love a father and daughter share.
There was no one to help with me school, there was no one to help me at all. As a child I had no one to look up to . I have no one to call dad.
I have a dad now. He is the most giving compassionate man I know.
He took in a girl who had no where to go. Not only was she a stranger, she was a stranger with a past. She was me.
He has stood with me through moments of hell. We have climbed mountains together the last two years.
He gave a girl on the brink of death a chance to experience life. He is an example for all people.
A member of big brother, big sister, an activist for the homeless, an activist for me. I call him Dad.”
Donna, David and Lisa just gave us a glimpse of the importance of having a dad (granddad, father figure, or a single mom who doubles as dad) quite eloquently.