Letter from the Mint editor: Dear Dad, I love you

A letter to my father, who is the best dad anyone can ask for

JENNIFER LADWIG, Evergreen mint editor

As parents prepare to come visit for a sixth Dad’s Weekend in a row, I feel the need to show them some love. This column is dedicated to you, Dad, and to all those other dads out there who are just super awesome.

I’ve been told by many people that I am very similar to you. This used to drive us both nuts, as we were always butting heads about things and getting into fights. We both react the same way to things — overreact, that is — so it’s not surprising we clash a lot.

But it wasn’t until more recently that I learned to love these parts about you. All of your nagging is out of love, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

No matter the crisis, you are always there. When I got into a car crash, you were the one who picked up the phone and helped me through the steps of getting myself back on the road.

I think my favorite memory with you is helping with projects in the garage when I was little. I remember drawing on the brand new work table you built, sketching little stick figure girls and houses into the wood.

As I got close to the end of the table, I realized I hadn’t drawn any boys. So I crammed a bunch of stick figure boys all lined up at the end of the table. Because, you know, equality. As I started drawing, I thought you might be mad, but you encouraged me, saying the table needed to be decorated. Those little stick figures are still there, and I smile every time I see them.

I love all of the little traditions we have, too. How every Christmas you, Katie and I go shopping for Mom, then we hide the presents and wrap them once we’ve collected all our presents for her. How we sit and read on the deck on summer afternoons. And how you gives me a tight squeeze as we wrap up a hug. And I love how we have the same smile, the one that gives us crows feet.

And as I’m away at school, I come to realize how much I miss you. I miss how you shout “Hello” as you wallet thunks in your drawer after you get home from work. I miss hearing you wrap your knuckles on the walls, and how you whistle all the time. I miss how you elbow me and tease when I refuse to laugh at one of your bad jokes.

This is so cliché, but you are the best dad anyone can ask for, and I hope to be a parent like you some day. I am so excited to see you this weekend and get one of those hugs. I love you, Dad.

Jennifer Ladwig is a senior multimedia journalism major from Washougal. She can be contacted at [email protected]