When I was about 8 years old I was hit by a school bus.

It was more of a bump than a full blown knock down but it is a moment I’ll never forget.

I was getting off the bus in front of my house, my father was waiting in the doorway, the bus moved before it should and wham-o.

Heather down.

Dad and Me

A bond that started early

My father was at my side in an instant and the words he said to the bus driver have been the banter of family jokes for years since: “I trusted you with my daughter. She is my jewel. She is precious to me.”

(You better believe that once my brothers got a hold of that line it was thrown at me a lot growing up and for some reason they always saw fit to add a sarcastic tone.;))

And while I outwardly cringed. Inside I was smiling like a Cheshire Cat. My dad thought I was a “jewel!”

Awkward little me!

I’ve never forgotten that.

It’s no surprise then, that when I fell in love with Ish, hard, at age 18 my dad wanted him dead had a little trouble letting go. Ish was put through the ringer. And to his credit handled it with his dignity intact.

he's not heavy

Friends for life

And when Ish and I married almost 10 years later my father was one of the first to concede he was in fact a good man. Years later when Ethan, and then Cameron were born, he added “amazing father” to the kudos.

Big shoulders

Love is having a dad whose shoulders you can always count on

If you’ve met either of these two men, you know two things:

1. My husband is an amazing father

2. My father is an amazing father.

And if you know me, you know that in almost all things that have shaped who I am, what I do and how I do it (including the upcoming Round the World Trip)  those two men have played a role.

To grow up in a home where your father’s love is never questioned, your intelligence is always lauded and your self-worth constantly verified is a gift I wish all kids could know. To then watch your own children grow  in a home where they know they can count on their dad for everything from school trips to soccer practice and never, ever question his love for them is equally rewarding.

Grandpa and E

No Generation Gap here

And to have two men in your life who live their lives on a daily basis with dignity, generosity and selflessness and to have the benefit of a life lived with them in it…well that my friends is a gift.

How have the dads in your life affected you?