A dad is a man who must endure childbirth without benefit of anesthetic.
In a child's trusting eyes he is bigger than life.
He's the bad-dream chaser, the knight strong enough to conquer all the bad guys, scare away monsters under the bed and vanquish scary things hiding in the closet.
He's the universal bank. His wallet is a reservoir which magically produces money to buy ice cream cones and candy...and bubble gum from machines inside store entrances, when Mom isn't watching.
A dad can yell at a threatening dog when you're scared...but talk to a newborn baby is soft, whispery tones when he thinks no one is listening.
He's an extraordinary combination of toughness and tenderness. Sometimes he's not sure which side he's supposed to show, so he acts tough when he needs to be tender. But you forgive him anyway because you know he loves you.
Dads disappear out the door in the morning and magically re-appear through the same door at night. Mom says Daddy is "at work" but children aren't sure what that means. They just know that when Daddy come home, the fun begins.
Dads sometimes do things which make moms gasp, like coming home from the store grinning and carrying a bouquet of flowers, or a box of doughnuts for Saturday morning breakfast. Or throwing the toddler in the air as he cries, "More, Daddy, more!"
Dads can do some things moms can't. They can change flat tires, carry heavy boxes and gut a deer...though changing a diaper sometimes makes them sick.
The man you call Dad is a wonderful combination of abilities, strengths, weaknesses and vulnerability, all wrapped up in a delightful package. And since Father's Day comes only once a year, surprise your dad by telling him in other months how much you appreciate his surviving long enough to raise you.
How about you? Have special memories associated with your dad? We would love to read about them in the comment box below.