Bo Leporati is as good a father as you will find on this earth.
As a ten year employee at the child support office – which I didn’t even know existed until I interviewed for a job there – it has been made abundantly clear to me how blessed I am to have the dad I have. I see that there are a lot of biological fathers who did nothing more than participate in the creation of their child and otherwise have nothing to do with them. (This certainly isn’t the case all the time, but it is very common.)
Then there’s my dad.
My sisters and I never went without clothes or shoes that fit as we grew up.
We never missed a meal except for the time we were driving to Florida for vacation and nobody was hungry and I was asleep. I woke up the next day angry that I hadn’t had supper and tried to demand four meals that day to make up for the one I missed. What can I say – I’ve always loved food.
My dad took off work early for every one of my middle school basketball games, just to sit in the bleachers and watch me warm the bench. I wasn’t a star player and only even got put in the game if we were ahead by 20 points with a minute or two remaining, but Daddy was always there.
My dad picked me up one night at the high school after a marching band competition and gave me no choice but to drive us home in his new truck when I had no interest in learning to drive. The death of a friend in a car accident resulted in an aversion to driving, but Daddy knew I needed to do it, so I found him firmly planted in the passenger’s seat when I got to the truck. That’s one way to do it. Then shortly thereafter, once I had my license, he sold that same beloved new truck so he could buy me a used car and then he drove a company vehicle for years.
My dad would go out in the driveway at night and play basketball with Melissa and me. We spent a lot of time out there.
My dad would drive to the Calhoun ballpark on summer nights when Melissa, Craig, Greg, and I had ridden our bikes out there earlier in the day and we were too tired and it was too dark for us to ride back home safely. Daddy would load our bikes and the four of us up in his truck and drive us home without complaint.
My dad was kind to friends of his children and would treat them as well as he treated us. A lot of my childhood friends called him (and some still call him) “Daddy Bo”. He took in a few of our friends over the years and allowed them to live under his roof for a while when they needed it. At the moment, I’m living under his roof again.
When Mama called Daddy two years in a row to announce she had agreed to host a foreign exchange student, he took it all in stride. He was a wonderful host father to Jana and Sharon. I remember he taught Jana how to drive when she lived with us.
As a young child, after I counted my change all week long in anticipation of buying from the ice cream man and the ice cream man ripped me off and made me cry, Daddy got in his truck and chased him down to have a word with him. Then as a college student when I bought my first digital camera and UPS delivered an empty box to the front door, Daddy went back and forth between UPS and Sony, who were both blaming each other, and finally called Sony and told them, “Let me tell you how this is going to work. By next Friday, you are going to deposit. $___.__ into my daughter’s bank account.” Sony obliged. Daddy is such a kind and patient man, but when someone is messing with one of his children, he’ll step right up and work things out if necessary.
To this day, Daddy insists on changing the oil in my car because he knows he’ll do it right. When my car needs anything – new tires, new inspection sticker, new windshield – he runs those errands for me so I don’t have to take off work for it.
A few years ago, Daddy drove me to IKEA in Frisco, Texas, was patient as Mama and I spent hours roaming the store, then he loaded up all my purchases on his trailer and drove us back home. He spent the next few days putting together a bed frame, a dresser, a book case, a night stand, and a linen cabinet. He has helped paint many bedrooms, bathrooms, and pieces of furniture over the years.
When I was in college, Daddy once forced me to go to a Dave Ramsey seminar on a Friday night. It was the last place I wanted to be. My friends were having fun in Ruston that night and I was reluctantly sitting in a four hour financial seminar against my will. Since this seminar, I’ve become a Dave Ramsey fan and actually was finding it interesting by the time hour four was wrapping up, but I didn’t tell Daddy this until later. I wanted to keep up appearances of being mad that he made me go.
My dad will do anything he can to help anyone out. Acts of service are his thing. As his daughter, I’ve seen him serving people and treating others with respect and kindness my entire life. I know what a good man looks like, because I was raised by one. I think I can speak for all his girls when I say we could not love him more.
I’ve asked Daddy before if he was disappointed he never had any sons and only had daughters. His reply was, “I wouldn’t trade my girls for any boys in the world.” We wouldn’t trade him either. We couldn’t have dreamed up a better dad than the one God gave us.
For any friends who may read this who are fathers, know this – you matter. Even in the times when culture makes dads seem irrelevant, you matter. Your kids are paying attention. There are things your kids won’t understand or appreciate until years later sometimes, but keep being a good dad. You are incredibly special and important in your childrens’ lives and they are blessed to have you.