Dear Boppa,

through arguments and alliances,

through reaching for the stars and clinging to Earth,

through thick and thin,

you are there.

You hold my hand when I am afraid to fall

and let go when I am ready to fly.

You appear formidable and intimidating to outsiders,

the opposite of who you are with people who take the time to get to know you

though adversaries still feel your wrath if invoked.

Safe in your embrace

I feel like I could conquer the world.

You are my favorite teacher

in everything from tying my shoes to algebra to leading by example.

You make sure I eat the whole of the food pyramid

but always have some kind of sweet to share.

Dinnertime debates with you end in draws,

both sides coming away with new perspectives.

As a baby you were the the only one who could get me to slumber,

swaddling me up tight and rocking gently.

When I'm having a bad day,

you find a way to make it better.

And when I'm having the best day ever,

you bask with me in the warm glow of happiness.

You never stray far from my heart.

Tibi gratias ago,

Nellie