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I have always been a Daddy’s girl, much to my mom’s frustration.  She always said my dad and I were wired the same, and that’s why it’s always just “worked.”

Sure, we have had our struggles and frustrations—when two people think almost the exact same way, certainly there will be battles.

But my dad has always had my back, without fail.  

Whether he had to question a school decision or staff my senior class retreat (yes, my dad is featured in my high school yearbook), I knew he would be there.

He thought he would lose me someday, that having another man in my life would take our relationship away. I remember him saying he felt a shift the day my then-boyfriend and now husband of over a decade fixed the dishwasher in my apartment.  

My dad thought I wouldn’t need him anymore.

This says so much about him as a man. He was sad, but he was willing to step aside and let me grow into my relationship with my husband.  I’m grateful he felt he could do that, that he could be humble.

But, who are we kidding? I’ll always need my daddy. 

My dad has helped me in every single move I’ve made. He’s carried countless boxes, hauled tables up flights of stairs, and even provided pizza for my family of five and let us shower in his house during the two brutal weeks when our new house had a broken water heater. 

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Since I’ve become a mom, and especially since I’ve endured the loss of my own mom, he’s remained by my side. 

There are many days when I’m sure he doesn’t know how grateful I am for him, but not a day passes when I don’t thank God for the blessing that is not only my dad, but the relationship I have with him.

I saw my dad spend his entire career in law enforcement. I watched him care for people who couldn’t care for themselves. He gave all of his working years in service, and he inspired me to pursue my own career in education; his own winding path to education showed me the true value in each moment spent in a classroom, and his journey opened so many doors for me. His sacrifices set the bar not only for a future spouse but also for my own career. I couldn’t lead a life where I wasn’t serving others.

My relationship with my dad has moved shockingly smoothly through the phases of life: from my childhood to adolescence to married life with kids. He’s always been Daddy, but he’s now also a father-in-law and Boppy. I am in awe of the grace with which he’s accepted each new title and the phase of life that goes with it. 

I did not have the blessing of amazing relationships with my own grandfathers, but my dad did. He remembers what that felt like—the magic of a special adventure, of his grandfather’s voice telling him a story, of fishing on a lake.

My children adore and trust my daddy, as I always have.

Watching this wonderful man develop his relationship with his grandchildren makes me love him even more.  From those first days with my oldest, when he honestly had no idea how to hold a sleeping newborn, to the last three years when he has been the nearly daily childcare provider for my littlest.  My three kids are in wildly different stages of life, and this father of one is simultaneously supporting our family through a pre-teen athlete, a fairy princess, and a wild toddler. And he’s IN it with us. 

My dad was in the dirty, gritty, tough details of my entire life, and he’s living it again with his grandchildren. He is an integral part of our family, and I cheer every time he says yes to another dinner, a family trip, or yet another season of supporting nutty sports schedules.  

RELATED: My Daddy Was My First Love

Friends ask how we manage life as two full-time working parents with three kids. And I tell them that the solution is to have another full-time adult.

I could not do what I do, could not keep my head above water, without my dad. 

He is the example of a father and grandfather we all deserve, and I count myself incredibly blessed to call myself his daughter.

Sarah Knutson

Sarah Knutson is a mama to three wildings. She is a teacher, writer, photographer, and avid camper living in Napa Valley. She loves late summer nights, snuggling by the fireplace, and always has ingredients on hand to make brownies. You can follow her adventures at Roaring Mama Lion to read more about her experiences as a mom and winemaker's wife.

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