I sat there for hours, staring at the blank page in front of me, drowned in frustration. It was a simple mMaths problem, an easy sum that anyone could do. Not me, clearly, I had come to realise four hours into my calculations. I felt helpless, I had absolutely no idea what to do. Eventually my struggle turned to tears and God knows what would have happened had my father not come to my aid at that exact moment.

That is what a father is to me. A figure to look up to, a superhero in disguise. The
support, the sincere love and belonging I feel around him is overwhelming in the best way. When I did not think I was capable, when I perceive my dreams to be too big, he assures me that it most certainly is not and that anything I could dream of I could make possible.

My father is the one who pushes me out of my comfort zone, inspiring me to take risks, insisting that limitations do not exist. He sees things in me that I do not always see in myself. I am thankful for all the times he pushed me into the water, knowing I would swim, believing that I would conquer whatever pool I was in.

Gently my father knocked on the door, opening it slowly so that I would not get startled. His warm expressions brought light to my dark mood, as it always does. At first he did not say a word, he simply put his hand on my shoulder and brought my head to his chest. Immediately I calmed down.

“Why are you crying, my son?” he asked and I told him how hopeless I felt that I could not complete my maths homework.

I showed him the sum and he analysed it critically. He looked at me and smiled, that same smile that is my incentive to grow into at least half the man that he is. Suddenly my difficulty seemed irrelevant; if I was trying my best it was good enough.

His reputation speaks for himself. He is a constant in my life, someone who will always be there for me, who I can trust and count on in times of need. His belief in me makes me believe in myself. He gives me the confidence to follow my own journey and no matter where the path takes me, I know he will always remain close.

I wiped the tears off my cheeks and asked my dad what the answer to the sum was. He did not tell me the answer, rather he showed me how to get there. That is what I love most about my dad; he truly embodies the traits he instils in me.

“It is pointless to have knowledge if you do not share that knowledge with others,” he often reminds me. There he was, uplifting me through his immense wisdom.

Step by step I followed his instruction, until eventually I arrived at the answer. How elated I was! Instinctively I hugged my dad and he shot me with yet another smile as he left my room, slightly warmer than it was before.

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This was one of the runners-up entries in the My Father essay writing competition. Click here to read other excellent essays from the competition.