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Who Is Dad? This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   "So, how was school today?" "Fine," I said as I hurriedly grabbed the snack he had left for me on the table. I went into the study to watch my favorite soap opera. "What do you want for dinner?" "Whatever," I told him, as I tried to get him to be quiet so I could watch my show. After the show, Dad told me to do my homework. "I know, Dad! You don't have to remind me every single second!" I screamed. I stormed upstairs. My bed had been made, and there were clean clothes stacked on my bureau. At 5: 30 I came downstairs, "Dad, I'm going to dance class now." "O.K., be careful!" "Yeah, yeah, I'll be home at 9: 00." When I came home, there would be a dinner plate for me on the table. "Don't you want dinner?" "No, I'm not hungry."

I would go upstairs and finish my homework. I expected this routine every day. It was the same thing all the time. There was always a snack, my laundry was always done, and my room was always clean. I never thought this would change. I never realized how much I would miss the things my dad did for me. I never realized how much I loved my dad.

It has been two weeks since my dad left for Taiwan to teach. Now I have to learn to do everything by myself. There is no one to pamper me, or spoil me. I have to do everything. The first week, I could not believe how much energy it took to do such simple tasks. My room is still a mess because I do not have the energy to clean it. I barely have enough clean clothes to wear, and I have to go grocery shopping if I want to eat.

The biggest change, however, is not having someone whom I can push around. Now there is not going to be a person who is going to tolerate me. Now I am the only one who is going to tolerate me.

When I look back, my dad always had my best interest at heart. Whenever I went out, my dad would ask: "Do you have enough money?" "Yes, Dad." This was probably the only time I was nice to him. The only other times I was nice to my dad was when I needed him to do something for me. Me, Me, Me - why was I like this? I was such a jerk. In fact, I was, or am, a spoiled, selfish, little girl who did not appreciate her dad who thought his little girl was the best, and gave her the best even though she was rotten. The best, however, was always right under her nose and she never realized it: it was her dad.

My dad will be in Taiwan for a year. I miss him. I got a letter from him yesterday, with a check for $100 dollars for my birthday. He always worries about me not having enough money. Before he left, he opened a bank account with $400 dollars, just in case. I know that my dad really loves me. I also finally realized that I love my dad more than anyone else in the world. I regret all the rude, thoughtless, mean things I ever did to my dad. I wish I could take them back. Maybe I can make up for it now.

The question: who is Dad? The simple answer: Dad is someone who loves his children. It has taken me a long time to realize this. In the beginning I did not really think that my dad was human. To me he was just someone who did things for me, that was all. The truth is: dads are human too. The only problem was that I did not come to this conclusion until my dad was gone. I still have time to make up for my mistakes. Hopefully, other kids like me will realize that their dad is not always going to be there, before it's too late. n




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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