Dear Coach Daddy,
I know you worry about me. I know you wonder if you're doing alright at this Dad thing, if you're gone too much, if you're striking the perfect balance between work and family.
But I just want to tell you something, Daddy.
I love that you're my dad. I love running out onto the field after games and leaping into your arms, trying to catch my breath as you toss me up into the air, sure that I'll hit the stadium lights from flying so high.
I love playing hide-and-go-seek in the field house and sneaking candy from the coaches' stash and hiding under your desk as I try to unwrap it with my tiny little mouse-fingers.
I love running the bases after baseball games, up and down the court after basketball games, and into the end zone after football games.
I love the anticipation of a team dinner, getting to color pictures for "the boys" before a game, and waiting to give them high-fives after a win ... or a loss.
I love watching you and telling everyone in the stands, "That's my daddy."
I love that I have a dozen big brothers (or sisters) who tickle me and give me hugs, who know my name and make me feel special because YOU'RE my dad.
They love me mostly because they love you. And yes Daddy, I miss you sometimes.
But I see how hard you're trying to be the best dad.
I see when you walk through the door and your eyes light up when you spot me sprinting your way, but your body is a half-second behind.
I see when we wrestle on the floor after dinner, and you let me pin you down a little easier every time, but we go another round anyway.
I see when your eyes grow heavy while you read me books, but you barely make it to the end just so you can tuck me into bed and kiss my forehead.
Someday, these will be my childhood memories. And I won't want to trade them for anything in the world. Someday, I'll thank you for teaching me things, like determination and coachability and the difference between roughing the kicker and running into the kicker. A couple of those things will come in handy in life.
I love you. And I'm so proud to call you Daddy. You could lose every game you ever coach, and I'd still be your biggest fan.