A Note To The Men Who Raise Strong Daughters

To My Father,

Thank you for shaping me to become the woman I am today. The first choice you made on my behalf happened before I was even a thought in your mind. You married my mother, who is your equal on every level. You married a strong, intelligent, independent woman. From the two of you, I learned that women and men are equal, that fathers don’t overrule mothers, that my thoughts, opinions and ideas are important. I learned that choosing to marry someone is choosing to be a partner in life.

From your life advice and the long talks we would have way past my bedtime on Friday nights, and the laughs we shared each day, I learned that gender shouldn’t color our childhood and that being a girl doesn’t mean I cannot be strong.  You make me feel safe and loved, always. You make me laugh and always talk to me about the future you set me up to have. You are the one who teaches me about data science and encourages me to pursue a career path so thoroughly dominated by men.

You may not love our trips to the museums and the hours mom and I can spend admiring the art. You may be the guy who offered seven-year-old me ice cream in an effort to drag me out of the museum. But you are also the guy who drives me to these museums and takes my picture in front of every single painting.  Thank you for encouraging all my interests.

With mom, you have encouraged me and pushed me always.  The value of education was the headline of many of our late-night discussions.  Thank you for pushing me in school and encouraging me to always try my best. You and mom always expected straight A’s, but when I cried over my first B, it was the two of you who brought me back up.  You guys gave me my work ethic but also taught me to forgive myself and keep going if I ever hit a bump in the road.

Thank you for pushing me to fulfill my goals but also teaching me that happiness is the most important, over success, over good grades. Thank you for helping me become who I am through the way you and mom raised me. I love you.

And to all the men who raise strong, independent women,

Thank you for giving us all the courage and conviction to work towards our goals and get back up when we fall.  Thank you for always supporting us and encouraging us. Thank you for leading by example and sharing your wisdom with us.

Thank you.

~ Your Daughter