I've Never Called My Father Dad

Photo by Julie Ryan Evans
In all my life, I've never called my father "dad", "daddy", "pop", "papa" or any other variation of the traditional names for father. He's "Boss."

Always has been, always will be.

My mom says it's because when I was born, he was scared of the responsibility, that "dad" sound like too much. So he declared himself "Boss", and he has been ever since.


Friends, relatives, neighbors all call him "Boss." My children call him "Grandpa Boss". Few people even know that his real name is Regis.

A little quirky for sure, even embarrassing at times when I was in grade school and would bring a new friend home from school and have to explain that he was really my real dad, I just didn't call that.

But just because I don't call him dad, doesn't mean he hasn't been a great one.

He's a little quirky himself. I know most dads say crazy things, but mine, well, I'm not sure there's a category for someone of his musings.

But throughout my life he's always been there. While I wouldn't say we have the closest relationship, I've always known I had his support and encouragement.

And the biggest gift he ever gave me was the belief that I could do anything I wanted to in life. When I went through about 76 Barbie heads,  perming, cutting and crimping their hair, he told me I was good enough to be a stylist to the stars. When I filled sketch books with clothing designs, he said he knew he'd see them in stores one day. When I wanted to be an Olympic gymnast, he went to the hardware store and built me a high bar so I could practice in my back yard.

While my interests were sometimes fleeting, he never discouraged me from any of them. Rather, he always encouraged me to follow my dreams and pursue everything I did with passion and a fierce work ethic.

I look at Abby Sunderland, the 16-year-old who set out to sail around the world, and her father who stands by his decision to let her go in the first place, even saying he'd support her if she wants to do it again. And I know my dad would have done the exact same thing.

Happy Father's Day, Boss!

What do you call your father?

Read More >