OPINION

Dickson: Honoring the best father I know on Father’s Day

Jun 16, 2023, 2:00 PM | Updated: 4:05 pm

Amanda Dickson pictured with her husband Aaron and four of his five children. (Amanda Dickson/KSL Newsradio)

(Amanda Dickson/KSL Newsradio)

This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom.

Father’s Day is one of my favorite holidays. It is the rare chance for me to honor the greatest man I know and the best father I’ve ever heard about — my husband, Aaron.

When Aaron asked me to marry him 20 years ago, he didn’t say, “Will you marry me?” At least not at first. The first thing he asked was, “Do you want to be a stepmom?”

I paused. (I’m embarrassed to admit it. I paused.) I asked, “Are you asking me to marry you?”

“Not yet,” he replied. “It depends on how you answer the first question.”

Aaron has devoted his whole life to his children. When we were dating, he saw his children every weekend and every Tuesday night. I remember asking if we could have a weekend to ourselves. His reply? “No.”

He taught me how much the kids depended on him, and how important consistency was.

I learned what a parent really is from Aaron

My parents loved me so much. I never doubted that, and I loved them in return, but I didn’t spend a lot of time with them. They sent me to a private school in Florida when I was 12 years old so I could develop my swimming ability. It was the chance of a lifetime, and they did it to give me that chance.

But I missed out on so much. So much time with them. So many lessons.

(Amanda Dickson/KSL NewsRadio)

Any talent I have as a mother (and I don’t have a lot) is based on what I’ve learned from Aaron. He taught me when to spoil and when to give consequences. He made the boys breakfast in bed on the first day of school. When one of our sons started throwing things, he took everything but his bed out of his room, including the closet doors.

When we found out I was expecting at the age of 40, after much thought, Aaron suggested he leave his 17-year career at KSL NewsRadio and care for the children full-time. He suggested that not because he wanted to leave his position. He loved his job as production director here, and the awards he won lined the walls of his office.

He suggested it because he believed our children should be taken care of by their parents, and I happened to make more money than he did (although he was, and is, far more talented than I am).

He was the treasurer of the PTA

Aaron was never the type of father to give the kids an iPad and then watch football. He changed more diapers than I did, read to them before bed and rocked them to sleep. He volunteered in their elementary schools. He was even on the PTA for crying out loud. (You’re probably wondering what I did right about now. Not much, as it turns out.)

He stayed up in the wee hours to help them when they procrastinated on science projects or book reports. He built LEGOS with them, took Laurel bowling every week and cleaned up a million messes. He taught himself how to cook and would make different meals for picky eaters.

These are the good old days

I was Googling cruises the other day. Actually, I’ve Googled them every day for weeks. I finally said to Aaron, “I think I’m spending too much time dreaming about traveling after I retire.”

“You know what I like to do? I like to project myself into the future, feel what it’s like, and remind myself how much I’ll miss the children and the things that are happening now,” he said. “Then I come back to now and remember to cherish what’s happening because these are the good old days.”

Thank you, honey. You’re so right.

Amanda Dickson is the co-host of Utah’s Morning News and A Woman’s View.

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Dickson: Honoring the best father I know on Father’s Day