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Best Friend

Crystal Burke


Sam Drevyanko


A father can have many varying definitions, in the simplest words, someone that has a child. They might be the biological father, adoptive, or just play the role of a father. Maybe they take care of their children, maybe they don’t. Sometimes fathers are distant and uninvolved with their child’s life, and sometimes they disappear completely. Although, if you’re genuinely lucky, and I mean as lucky as a four-leaf clover, a father can be much more than just a parent. I am blessed to have a dad who is my role model, teacher, coach, on-call doctor, and my best friend all in one.


When I was little, my dad worked outside on the farm, and I pressed my cheeks against the glass door waiting to see him come by. The instant the door creaked open and he stepped inside, I was attached to his side like a fly stuck in honey. I followed him around the house like a puppy telling him about how I discovered what a crayon was, or how I ate 20 million pancakes that morning.


I insisted on doing whatever he did; I ran with him, ate peanut butter by the spoonful with him, and cheered for the Cardinals and Hawkeyes with him. At the age of four, that was a long day. I felt my eyelids droop as if they weighed a million pounds. Dad flopped down on the couch with his hands behind his head, and I sat across from him. I put my hands behind my head and drifted off to sleep.


Years later, my puppy dog-like habits faded. Every day I ran on my own and ate more peanut butter than mom could buy. During track seasons mom came close to shoving a sock into my mouth, but Dad would sit and listen to me chatter on for hours. We’d talk about my workouts, my times, and anything else I could relate to running.


At midnight mom would roll her eyes as she woke up to squeaking floorboards. We tiptoed downstairs for a midnight spoonful of peanut butter and talk even more. We were two peas in a pod. He always knew what I needed, whether it was a math tutor or a laugh he always ran to my rescue. His favorite solution for any problem was creamy, golden, Skippy peanut butter and a good joke. 
A father is someone that genetically helped bring you into the world, but can be much more. A dad is caring, inspiring, helpful, loving, and everything he’s supposed to be. He may not always hit the bullseye, but that makes him even more lovable. At least that’s how it is for me. Like a shooting star, my dad is one in a million and I’m lucky to have him. My hero, my coach, my peanut butter eating partner, and my best friend, all go by the same title: Dad.


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