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Here’s to the Dads: A Letter to Fathers

A note to dads on Father's Day.

Here’s to the dads pulling the night shift. The ones sitting in a rocking chair, right now, reading this on their phones.

Here’s to the dads who pull out their phones to capture that picture of mama and baby; that moment that no one else can see.

And here’s to the dads who’ve dropped their phone on their baby. We’ve all been there too.

Here’s to the dads who work away from home all day, and the ones who stay home all day.

To the ones mopping the kitchen floor and sorting laundry.

Here’s to the dads roughhousing with their daughters and letting their sons cry.

Here’s to the dads letting themselves cry.

Here’s to the dads dressing their little girl in blue, only to have her change into seven pink tutus and pink leopard print pants.

Here’s to the dads embracing those tutus. And dressing up in them too.

Here’s to the dads hitting up the gym to work out, and then hitting up the other gym to watch preschool basketball (which is a very different game than actual basketball).

Here’s to the dads lifting weights and the ones pulling their own weight.

Here’s to the dads who lie awake at night wondering how they’ll get their family to the end of the month before they get to the end of the money.

Here’s to the dads who lie awake at night wondering how you raise children when you’re still growing up.

Here’s to the dads providing for their family by caring for their family.

Here’s to the dads using their sick hours to care for their sick wife.

Here’s to the dads climbing trees and corporate ladders.

The ones teaching their children how to swing dance, and how to swing bats — sometimes at baseballs and softballs, most times at the glass ceiling.

Here’s to the dads that are late to meetings because your son wanted one more (read: 12 more) hugs. And here’s to the dads that are late to the same son’s recital because of a meeting.

Here’s to the dads who know how much strength it takes to admit you made a mistake; how courageous it is to apologize.

Here’s to the dads who are single dads, the ones who are co-parenting, the ones who are married, the ones who have partners.

Here’s to the dads who are fathering without their own father.

And here’s to the dads who are fathering with no baby here to father.

Here’s to the dads who have messed up and missed out. The ones who let fear lead them for too long. The ones who let pride take them too far away. Here’s to those dads, the ones hurting; the ones who have hurt.

Here’s to the dads who have come back.

Here’s to the dads teaching their sons to be tough enough to stand up to intolerance and injustice; strong enough to acknowledge their emotions.

Here’s to the dads teaching their daughters to be tough enough to stand up to photoshopped beauty standards; strong enough to value their softness.

Here’s to the dads teaching their children that their worth is non-negotiable. As is everyone else’s.

Here’s to the dads being taught by their children.

Here’s to the dads who know that the greatest way to man up, is to show up.

Here’s to the dads who are showing up.

And finally, to the mothers that made us fathers, here’s to you, too.

Happy Father’s Day.

Justin Baldoni is an actor, producer, entrepreneur and director best known for his work on CW’s critically acclaimed series ‘Jane the Virgin.’ Currently he is producing a series titled ‘Man Enough’ which aims to debunk traditional masculinity and directing his first feature film “Five Feet Apart” for CBS Studios.