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Dear Dad: On Raising Women Like Us

by Chelsea Leader Gold
 ∙ Dec 16 ∙ 3 Min Read

By: Chelsea & Courtney Fuller

Dear Dad,

Today is your birthday, and a perfect excuse to tell you that not only are we thankful for the hard work you — and Mommy — put into providing for our family, but also (and way more) for the commitment you had (realized or exceptionally ingrained) to raising strong, compassionate and independent women.

While this note is about and to you, we hope that other parents can find in it the inspiration to (continue to) invest heart and time into raising their girls like you have us. 

Growing up and over the years, you have:

  • :: Taught us to value inquisition by encouraging us to question everything. From you (and mom), we inherited our mutual favorite question — “Why?” That question, and its counterpart (“Why not?”) have informed our careers, our global perspectives of justice and our commitment to the causes we care about.
  • :: Instilled in us the importance of expansion. You hired Mark the Computer Guy* to bring (very large) Apple desktop computers to the house to give us computer lessons when we were kids. You played that basketball typing game by Mavis Beacon with us and cheered when we typed quickly and effectively. (You made us nerds, but we think that’s a good thing…)
  • :: Reminded us to relish in the little things, like every meal we ever ate (that you often deemed “the best meal I ever ate” from “the best restaurant in America”). 
  • :: Showed us where to find a good audience: in ourselves. You did this by laughing (a lot) at your own jokes and mini skits wherein you’d commit to a character that none of us seemed to have ever heard of prior. (We love this about you.)

Though you always called us “my girls,” you never made a gender distinction that either one of us can remember about anyone you ever talked about. 

You reinforced qualities that served us as upstanding citizens of the world. You applauded “smart” and “independent” acts…and “thoughtful” or “generous” deeds, so, even when we were really little, we knew those things were of value.

You showed care when you asked about our friends. Even though you didn’t often remember names, you remembered to check on their stories. As you met our grown-up pals, you embedded yourself into their/our social environment, never casting judgment or showing ageism or having any filter at all. 

From a family of boys, you raised strong girls — good women — who love and respect you like you have loved and respected us since the minute we entered the world; the second we were each placed in your arms.

On your birthday and every day, we love you, Dad.

We’re exceedingly grateful you’re ours.
Chelsea & Court

*Privilege disclaimer

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