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What My Father Means To Me Essay by: Mary
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Posted by : David Hirsch on April 13, 2013 - 3:33pm tags : What My Father Means To Me Essay

Each year tens of thousands of students in kindergarten through 12th grade write essays to the theme “What My Father Means To Me” as part of the fatherhood essay contests in various cities across the U.S. Students write about their: fathers, stepfathers, grandfathers and father-figures.

I am one of 700+ volunteers who read and help evaluate these heartfelt essays. Most are very positive and uplifting, while others are quite sobering, since so many kids are growing up in less than ideal circumstances.

Here is one of my favorites written by Mary a 6th grade student about her dad:


My Dad The Hero

"My dad is a hero. My dad is the tallest, the baldest, and the brightest man in the world. I have the best fireman in Chicago living in my house, my dad! He is a lieutenant and he did very good on his test. I am so proud of him.

My dad was a basketball coach this year and we won the championship game. I looked over at him and saw how proud he was of all the girls on the team. He cares for all of them. I walked over and gave him a hug and said, “Thanks Dad!” He thought I meant for the game, but I meant for being MY DAD. I am so proud of him. When he coaches and in everyday life he tells me these things: “Be proud of yourself. Be secure with-in yourself. Never give up, keep on trying. Reach for the stars. Andy Mary I love you.”

If I wrote a letter to God, I could not have described a better choice than Tom.

When I have trouble in school he is there to help me. He makes things easy and fun to learn. When I need advice on school work, sports, or my friends I call for my Dad. My Dad the big hard guy, yet who is so soft on the inside. It feels so safe and secure with his arms around me. I think I have found the safest place in the world, my dad’s arms.

My Dad was there for all my firsts. My first word, “Da-Da.” My first step was into his arms. When I lost my first tooth, he wiped the tears away. He was there running behind me when I learned to ride a bike. He has taught me how to play baseball and basketball. He is always there for al of us in my family."

I have read thousands of these essays over the past 16 years. I’ve developed a fondness for men who are filling in when there is no dad, stepdad or granddad present in the life a youth. These unsung heroes, like Mary’s dad are my heroes.

From DAD To DAD, it’s very moving to read authentic messages about being a dad, especially those who are really making a difference in the lives of their kids and others.

David Hirsch's picture
About author: David Hirsch
David Hirsch is the father of five, ranging in age from 17 to 25. He is CEO (Chief Encouragement Officer) at TEAMDAD and the founder (1997) of Illinois Fatherhood Initiative, the country's first state-wide non-profit fatherhood organization whose mission is connecting children and fathers by Actively Engaging Fathers In The Education Of Children.
View all posts by David Hirsch

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