Josh (left) and his father, Nick, pose for a photo.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Below is the winning essay from our Most Valuable Dad contest, which allowed fans to send in essays explaining why their respective fathers deserve to be called the Most Valuable Dad. The winner, Josh (age 16), receives a grand prize featuring four game tickets and four pregame sideline passes.
I want to tell you why my Dad (Nick) is the greatest Dad in the world. Well, actually, he is not really my Dad. He is my Uncle. But when I was 13, after he had already raised two children who now have families of their own, he and my Aunt did not hesitate to step in when my own father could not raise me.
Raising a teen in your 50s is not an easy task by itself, but to add to it, I have lived in Liverpool, England, my whole life so he also had to deal with the trials and tribulations of helping me get accustomed to American ways.
I have to admit, I have not made it easy on him. My first year in school was very difficult, and my Dad was on a first-name basis and phone-call-a-day plan with my teachers. I got in trouble quite a bit and was not the best student. But still, no matter how long his day was at work, he would sit down with me every night and talk about my day and help me with my homework. He helped me through failing grades, fights in school, girl trouble, disagreements with teachers, all without complaining. That first year was really rough, but he never gave up on me.
Two years later, I have now completed my first year of high school and could not have done it without his help. I feel very used to living in America and now consider it my home. I know he had a great deal to do with this. He gave up the years of his life that should have been devoted to relaxation and quiet, and opted instead to raise another teenager all over again in order to give me a better life.
I still give him a lot of trouble, and a lot of gray hairs, but now I recognize all he has done to change my life and put it on the right path. I mean, who knows where I would be now if I were still in England? I want him to know, however, that I realize all this and how eternally grateful I am. I want him to know on Father's Day, that he is not my Uncle, he is my Dad.