Every little kid should have something special that they do with their fathers.
For my dad and I, it was early morning breakfast at Ricky's Restaurant. We would enjoy our "date" with a $5.99 eggs-and-hash brown special.
I always looked forward to those Saturdays when it was just dad and me.
As time went on and I entered my teens, I wanted to sleep in on weekends, and our breakfast dates became few and far between.
So we started a new tradition: running together.
When I was in Grade 9, we decided to train for the Sun Run.
All through high school, university, and now, being married and moving away, I have continued the tradition of running in this annual race with my dad.
Though dad is a bit of a fair-weather runner, he still manages to finish, and always has the same goal of an hour or less.
I never realized how much I cherished this time together until this year.
I had injured my foot about two weeks before the Sun Run and was not even planning on doing it, until my dad called me up and said he had a registration for me.
The night before the run, I went to my parents' house to sleep, so that we could wake up early and drive in together.
I started feeling sick, but insisted that I could do it.
As we stood in line with the thousands of other participants, I felt extremely grateful for this tradition with my dad - a faithful father and friend with whom I love to spend time, even when we are both a couple of sad, sorry excuses for runners.
We decided to take it easy, and ended up taking pictures at different points of the race.
We even stopped completely and watched a band play.
With one shoe off for the last four kilometres, because of my sore foot and a fever of a 106, I walked across the finish line with my dad by my side.
Now, as I move away once again to somewhere so far that the tradition of running the Sun Run together may not be possible, I know my dad will maintain the tradition of being a truly admirable and encouraging person in my life.
I would like to thank my dad and all the dads out there who make their children feel loved and important.
Happy Father's Day.
@ Copyright 2013