By: Amy Cleary

Father’s Day, that day when every smiling child goes to a big box store to pick out one of many ties that will be given on June 17.  I’ve never had the privilege. Growing up wasn’t hard for me. I was raised by an extremely talented and wonderful single mom,  who took my teenage rebelling years with a song and a dance. My mother’s five brothers took it upon themselves to be assigned the role of father figure in my life, and every last one of them taught me something different. 


One brother taught me to love the outdoors. If I wanted to go fishing, he was the man to do it with. The second brother taught me all about Batman, and how Die Hard will always be a Christmas movie. They also taught me how to be independent like my mom, and they allowed me to blossom into the confident adult that I am today. 

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When I graduated high school, and the father and daughter dance was about to begin, I had to choose who was going to be my dance partner. I had five choices, which is a lot for an 18-year-old girl. 

When I started dating, my boyfriends became intimidated when they entered my house. They didn’t have to face one dad, but five. My current boyfriend wasn’t intimidated by the imposing five, and he has stuck around. 


My relationship with my boyfriend has gifted me with a stepdaughter, so I can pass down all my knowledge that I have gathered over the years to her. I’ll make sure that she watches all the Die Hard movies when she’s old enough. He’s an incredible father, and I’m very grateful to have him in my life. I also don’t look back in shame in how I grew up. I didn’t realize at that time that I was given a gift that most children in single-parent homes didn’t have. 

So yes, I didn’t have to spend all my hard-earned babysitting money at the mall on just one brightly coloured tie, I had to buy five different ones for the five fathers that I have and I wouldn’t change those memories for the world. 

Amy Cleary, The Herald’s Intern, can be reached by emailing [email protected]

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