Dads, Daughters, Father's Day

Salamat po (Thank you) Dad

Salamat Po, Tatay

IMG_12382644396343Dear Tatay (Dad in Tagalog, national filipino dialect),

We might not have the typical daughter father relationship but I do cherish our bond that we have and want you to know how much you are appreciated this Father’s Day and everyday.

Thank you for always being there for me no matter what and always having my back even when I might have been wrong at certain times. (Lol not gonna divulge this info)

Thank you for always listening to what I have to say even though I can be repetitive. It’s always comforting to know I can count on you a phone call away.

Thank you for teaching me how to play basketball, sing karaoke (lol Calendar Girl song is still ringing in my ears), drive a car young, save my money, be thrifty, make good deals, be on time (I was always on time before I had kids), cook random dishes with whatever ingredients we had in the refrigerator/pantry, and always smile at any situation. These skills are instilled in my everyday life because it allows me to appreciate the little things in life and not having to keep up with the Joneses but building a strong family foundation and good nest egg for my family and future.

Thank you for always hustling and making sacrifices for our family growing up. This trait helped me always to be a hustler (hard worker) no matter what I’m doing from being a working mama, stay at home mama, working at home mama. I love striving to be the best for my family.

Thank you for teaching me how to speak tagalog, even though I can’t speak it fluently I can still comprehend so it’s nice to be able to respond to other Filipinos/Filipinas. Haha sometimes it gives me upgrades and discounts when I speak tagalog (another saving tip).

Thank you for always being chill, cool, calm, collected and not sweating the small stuff when there is any negativity surrounding you. You helped teach me to just choose to be happy and not over think situations because life is too short to not want to focus on all the positive there is.

I’m very grateful to have a father like you and proud to have you as my father and wish you a Happy Father’s Day.


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Thanks, Dad

Yup, dads like to fish.

If you were to judge the role of a father based on Father’s Day cards, it would look something like this:

Dad on dock with kids 2

Yup, dads like to fish.

• Dads provide kids with spending money.

• Dads like to fish.

• Dads insist on controlling the TV remote.

• Dads may or may not be handy with tools – but either way, it’s funny.

In other words, dads are kind of all-knowing, but distant. Benevolent, but out of touch with the intimate workings of the family. Definitely a source of humor. According to Hallmark, the major life lessons dads teach is to not crash the car on your way home from the high school Homecoming dance. Oh, and don’t crush your thumb with a hammer.

My own father has definitely been a source of humorous family stories:

• After hearing my brothers discuss the possibility of ghosts and space aliens as they drifted off to sleep, Dad ran a garden hose underneath their beds, made moaning sounds, and scared the bejeebers out of them.

• He climbed up a second-story balcony, covered with a sheet, in response to my nephew’s dinner-table talk about Bigfoot and ghosts. (What’s with the ghosts again?)

• While joking around, he told my young brothers that he had nothing between his ears. My brother Bob checked this out while my father napped. How? By jabbing a pen into Dad’s ear. This is how Bob discovered that sometimes fathers are kidding. There was something between Dad’s ears – starting with a now-perforated eardrum.

My dad taught me more than how fun it is to scare your kids to death. Beyond the legendary family stories, my father provided the core of who I am.

Although he worked extremely long hours running his business, he provided stability in an often chaotic home life. He taught me independence and trust in my own judgment, even when others might be in a tizzy. Whether it was choosing a college, or having to make some very adult emergency decisions due to family circumstances, he supported my decision-making ability. This decidedly non-helicopter-parenting helped me learn to navigate through tough choices where there are no easy answers.

The very few times he did step in, it felt foreign to have my judgment challenged. In the end, it made me analyze the situation. Although I might stick with the same conclusion, my eyes were opened to other possible outcomes.

My dad taught me that I am worth positive attention. Whether it was joining me and our Labrador for a tea party, or standing across the retail store to watch me handle crowds during my holiday job, I always knew that I mattered.

Thanks, Dad, for driving me to early morning choir practice, and home from high school football games. Thanks for watching me jump off the footstool eleventy-eight times, and exclaiming, “Holy Smokes!” for every single jump. Thanks for not freaking out when I accidentally rolled the snowmobile down the hill.

Thanks, also, for not freaking out when I got engaged even though you thought it was too soon. (Cut to the punchline: my husband and I are still married after two decades.)

Is there a Hallmark card with all of those sentiments? There should be.

Dad in Pacific
Dad with kids at aquarium

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How To Talk To Your Kids: My Daughter & I Discuss Racy Ads in Sin City

Raising kids here in Las Vegas can be great for so many reasons, but it definitely has its challenges. There are not  many cities in America where flyers are being shoved in your hands bearing images of naked woman, where sidewalks are crowded with guys wearing bright green T-shirts that read “Girls! Girls! Girls!” or where you see billboards with sayings like “Girls Direct to You”. Having a teen daughter here in Vegas, I have had to think long and hard about the way to approach this conversation. The best thing I could come up with was to try to humanize the women who are being sold. When we are walking down the Strip or driving in the car and we see something that is objectifying a woman I try to have my daughter see her in a different light. I explain to her that most likely that woman somehow got herself into a bad place in life. Whether it had to do with bad decisions, drugs, or unwilling circumstances, I try to have my daughter see that this woman is a valuable person and that we should care about her and feel sorry that she has gotten herself in this situation.  Most likely, given the choice, this woman would not have chosen this kind of rough life for herself. Without giving too many details, I explain to my daughter that the woman in that picture is selling herself to men. I say that this lifestyle is something that this woman will always feel pain over. I don’t want to raise my daughter to hate or judge other women, even women who are doing the wrong thing. I hope that I can raise her to have compassion for others and realize that she has been given a great gift in life to be able to live in a stable home. I always try to teach her not to judge other people because you don’t know what kind of life they have been dealt. I also want her to know that there are a lot of people who are desperate and are willing to do anything to get what they need. While I would love to think her safety is guaranteed, I always remind my teenager to pay attention to her surroundings and be aware of people’s behavior. It is a fine balance trying to raise her to be sweet and compassionate, but at the same time mindful that people can be dangerous and you have to be careful who you trust. imageVegas is definitely a unique place with a lot to offer, but at the same time, this city has a very dark side that we need to protect our children from. I would love to know if you address these issues with your kids. If so, how?

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