Dear old Dad. Whether he’s a regular presence in your life, a cherished memory or the position you yourself are hoping to fill someday, at least there’s one thing all fathers have in common:
They’re essential in a way that’s often hard to put into words.
So allow some experts to help. With Father’s Day coming on June 18, we’ve rounded up a number of quotations -- from serious and meaningful to silly and, well, just as meaningful in their own way -- about dads. The words of deep thinkers, standup comics, celebrities and even a pair of former presidents, they’re bound to have you smiling in recognition or wiping away the occasional tear. Maybe even both at the same time.
Related video: More funny quotes about fatherhood
(Better yet, if you forget to buy someone a Father’s Day card, here are some ready-made sentiments to cut-and-paste into a last-minute homemade version.):
“Dads are most ordinary men turned by love into heroes, adventurers, story-tellers and singers of song.” Australian poet Pam Brown
“I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren’t trying to teach us. We are formed by the little scraps of wisdom.” Italian novelist Umberto Eco
“Having children is like living in a frat house—nobody sleeps, everything’s broken, and there’s a lot of throwing up.” Actor, father of four Ray Romano
“My dad always told me, “I don’t care what you do, just aim to be the best at it. Even if it’s the world’s best window cleaner.”Iron Maiden lead singer Bruce Dickinson.
“My father used to say that it’s never too late to do anything you wanted to do.” NBA superstar player-turned-team owner Michael Jordan
“The only way I can describe [fatherhood]—it sounds stupid, but—at the end of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, you know how his heart grows like five times? Everything is full; It’s just full all the time.” Actor, father of four, Matt Damon
“During the sole argument we had when (daughter Chelsea) was in high school, the subject of which I don’t even remember, I looked at her and said, ‘As long as you’re in this house, being president is my second most important job'” Bill Clinton, who served two terms as president, beginning when his only child was 12
“I’ve been to war. I’ve raised twins. If I had a choice, I’d rather go to war.” George W. Bush, who served two terms as president, beginning when his twin daughters, Barbara and Jenna, were 19
“When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.” Mark Twain
“Raising kids may be a thankless job with ridiculous hours, but at least the pay sucks.” Actor/comedian, father of five Jim Gaffigan
“Lately all my friends are worried they’re turning into their fathers. I’m worried I’m not.” Humorist Dan Zevin
“ This is the price you pay for having a great father. You get the wonder, the joy, the tender moments – and you get the tears at the end, too.” Mystery writer Harlan Coben
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