A true father is always there. He is there to spill tears of happiness when his eyes fall upon his infant daughter. He is there with arms to catch her when she takes her first steps or stumbles. He is there to teach her at the youngest age, even though she might not understand half of it. He is there to help her color inside the lines, make her scramble egg sandwiches and green soup, and tie her shoes. He is there to hug her and kiss her on her first days of school, and to walk her in if need be. He is there to teach her and tease her and laugh with her. He is always there to embarrass her, but that’s part of life. He is there to tell her to go ask her mother, when her mother told her to ask him. He is there to lecture her, prepare her for the monster called high school. He is there to put up with her teenage moods and her co-ed relationships. He is there to approve, disapprove, accept and forgive. He is there to give her a big bundle of flowers when she graduates, to smile when her name is called and feel proud. He is there to embrace her and kiss her before she goes to live and learn a thousand miles away. He is there to see her become a workingwoman, to walk her down the aisle (or not, if her independence and stubbornness prevail after all). He is there to watch her grow as the lines on his face grow. He is there to welcome her home, always, and let her hug him and smell the smell she remembers from childhood, the warm, protecting, comforting smell of dad. But most of all, he is always there to love her. And she is always there to love him back. Papa, I love you, happy Father’s Day.