Everything Dad said I couldn’t do, I did. I was determined to prove him wrong, to be my own kid.
Athletics — “girls don’t do that,” said Dad. Other “no ways.” Boys. Bikes. Electronics. Pants. I did them anyway. All the things that “girls didn’t (or shouldn’t) do,” I would jubilantly embrace.
Pamela’s dad, Aquiles, as a young man
My family is Chilean; we came here when I was 3, fleeing Pinochet as political refugees. America didn’t soften Dad. He was — and is — the stereotypical Latino man (and dad). Overprotective. Authoritarian. Rigid. Sexist. And racist, too.
Dad was obsessed with sheltering his “little girl” from the ways of a land strange to him, but so comfortable, a perfect home to her. He was doing his best (I know now) but he was also driving me crazy.
(You can probably tell, I resented my father growing up. Today I am exactly what he was not — an artist, a progressive, an activist — he embodied everything I would come to abhor.)
My parents would later return to Chile (the States weren’t for them). My sister and I, as adults, stayed on. READ MORE
Most Savvy Dad stories are special. Some are what we call 10+. That means as good as they get. On that scale, this is an 11.
We found this story floating around the Internet in different forms, “author unknown”. A bit of detective work by our own Chris Neck turned up the original author, original story and some very cool background.
Heat up your coffee. Pour some more tea. Savor this moment. You’re in for a treat.
We’ll start with the email Chris received from the now 85-year old author. Then, in its original form, enjoy one of most touching dad stories (and best life lessons) you’ll ever read. READ MORE