Motherhood

Why Are Dads’ Texts So Freaking Cute?

Jeremy Goddard

My dad does the funniest thing…

Whenever we call him, no matter where he is or what he’s doing, he will always answer the phone.

One night, I called him, and we were chatting about nothing in particular. I told him about a new neighborhood restaurant, he told me about the book he was reading, and 10 minutes into the conversation, I casually asked, “So, where are you right now?” His answer? “On the treadmill.” At the gym. He was JOGGING.

Other times, we’ll be chatting, and I’ll ask, “So, where are you?” And he’ll say, “In a meeting.” Or “at a movie.” It’s like, Dad, hang up the phone!


What is it about dads and their phone behavior? Here, some Cup of Jo readers share their own genius DadTexts™:

“When my dad calls me, he says, ‘Hi, This is Steve Larson, your dad.’ It’s amazing.” — Chris

“My dad signs all his texts. Once my brother and I got a message from him that WASN’T SIGNED. We immediately noticed and couldn’t resist replying, ‘Sorry, who is this?’ To which he obviously replied, “Dad. Dad.’ He has reliably signed every text since.” — Robyn

“My dad doesn’t ever call out of the blue. Instead, he sends a meeting invite and includes an agenda with things like, ‘New job. How’s it going?’ or “Granddaughter. Christmas gift?’ The meeting invite is always for a Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. And then when he calls at the scheduled time, the first thing he asks is, ‘Where are you?’ as if I’m going to be anywhere but home on the couch at 8:30 p.m. on a Tuesday.” — Janel

“My dad would sign every text message ‘LOL.’ ‘See you at 8, LOL.’ ‘How was the meeting? LOL.’ He thought it stood for ‘lots of love.’ When we finally broke the news, he decided he liked it and kept doing it anyway.” — Katie

“My dad signs his texts with ‘Blessings, Larry.’ Already so dad-like, but you haven’t lived until you’ve been stuck in a car with him and you realize that he voice-texts everything. Which means that he yells out loud, ‘BLESSINGS COMMA LARRY!'” — Ginny

“My dad always told me what time it was when he called me, plus my time and the exact time difference if we were in different time zones. He must’ve left hundreds of voicemails over the years that all started: ‘Gemma darling! It’s 3:15 p.m. here, which means it’s…’ etc. I wish I still had even one. Everyone! Save your parents’ voicemails!” — Gemma

Obama laughing

Obama selfie

Obama showing how he takes selfies, haha.

What about your dads or stepdads or father figures? Any gems to share?

P.S. 8 confessions of a new dad, how dads were the original hipsters and Dad Magazines.

(Top photo of my dad on a family trip to Cornwall. Bottom photos of Obama. I first talked about my dad’s phone habit for Glamour.) 

  1. Caitlin says...

    My dad is not super tech savvy, but he has figured out that I am always on my email. So we email each other every day. He doesn’t know how to use italics, bold, etc., which also means he doesn’t know how to NOT use them when he accidentally clicks on them. Often an email might have a line that suddenly turns to italics and he always follows it with: the font changed, rats!

  2. Lauryn says...

    I cannot get enough of this thread! Ah the amount of times I have teared up. I can’t read things about Dads without.
    My dad is a hard-headed, stubborn Italian that has totally softened over the years and once I moved 3,000 miles away we started to becoming much closer. In our texts he will use random emojis like the purple face or the coyote(?) and it is funny to see a usually serious Italian man use cute little emojis. He will also answer the phone whenever, wherever (in a meeting, taking a nap, on the roof) which I think is so sweet. But on the topic of phones, I think the best thing I love over the phone with my dad is that even through the phone he will just know if something is wrong with me by the tone of my voice and talk to me for an hour about the fun times he had working at Dunkin donuts in the 70s to just cheer me up :)

    My father-in-law is probably the cutest texter. He speaks Portuguese and didn’t get far in school so his sentences are never constructed correctly but they are SO endearing, especially If you read them in his voice. Also, it is interesting to see the shortcuts he takes with language that makes so much sense! Also he likes to send lots of videos of him dancing or doing funny tasks at work and send them to myself, my husband and the family.

  3. DJ says...

    My dad and I live 9 hours apart and have for the majority of the past decade. We talk regularly and whenever he ends his call he says “love you see you soon” even though “soon” is very relative when you live 9 hours apart. It makes me happy to think that he’s always looking forward to seeing me next.

  4. Jodi Lee says...

    I remember when I was little, whenever I said, “I’m full” – my dad would gleefully say, “Yes, you are a fool!” and then dissolve in laughter. I would always get so angry, which would only make him more delighted haha.

    My dad is a professor, and I was taking summer classes in his building one year. He liked to make these horrendous vegetable smoothies for my sister and I every morning and always reminded us to pick them up. One day, I got a text that simply said, “juz.” After a moment of pure bewilderment, I started laughing when I realized he meant, “Juice.”

  5. Mikkele says...

    oh man, my dad always used to sign every text, email, or chat message with “blessings, dad”. he passed away a few years ago, but every time I sign into my gmail account an old gchat message from him shows up in the sidebar that says it, and it makes me smile

  6. Every single time my dad leaves a message he says “hi Lauren, this is your father.” Or he will sometimes say “dad” instead. Like I don’t know my dad’s voice. Or know it’s him by caller ID. Or have his number memorized.

  7. Julia says...

    My dad and I stay touch throughout the year – phone calls every two weeks or so. But my favorite phone call every year is when he calls me on my birthday and sings “Happy Birthday” to me. If I miss his call, he’ll still leave a singing voicemail, which I think is so sweet. I’ve saved a couple and they perk me up on days that I’m feeling down.

  8. Quinn says...

    Hadn’t talked to my dad in a couple days and he pops up as I’m reading these! After he tells me he is headed to the gym and I say “how inspiring” he responds with “no, perspiring.” I love him.

  9. Jenny says...

    My 90-year-old grandfather is very hard of hearing and hasn’t spoken on the phone in years. He also doesn’t converse much in person. Last year, my mother (his daughter) bought him a smartphone and taught him how to text. He now texts her and her nine siblings every day. She recently shared some of his texts with me: “Dear Daughter, Went to church dinner tonight. Need to have my toenails cut but cannot find good help around here. What did you do for dinner tonight. Say hi to the old man (meaning my dad). Be kind- Dad (multiple smileys and the devil emoji)” . The next day: “Dear Daughter, Got my toenails cut. Did it myself. Aren’t you proud. Be kind- Dad (smileys and devil emoji)”. He won’t share the phone with Grandma and sends about 60 texts a day.

  10. Denise says...

    My kids laugh that I am such a mom and will text back so quickly. So when I don’t my daughter will text in all caps like she’s yelling to get my attention. Cracks me up!

  11. Marissa says...

    My dad’s never been big on text speak, so ‘lol’ never caught on for him. Instead, he’ll type out “laugh” if he thinks something’s funny. It’s become such a classic dad move that my brother and I will say “laugh” to each other when we get to see each other in person. It’s such a weirdly endearing quirk.

    • Hahhahaha LAUGH that is hilarious.

  12. Martha says...

    My dad and my sister and I text lots. And we talk on the phone lots. Since my mom died, Dad has just taken her place seamlessly in all things communications. He doesn’t always have the answers, like re. stuff from when we were kids, he’s always like, “oh sweetie, I can’t remember!” One of my favourite things is we always text each other from concerts we are loving – because we if it’s good, we all truly wish the other two were with us! Anyway, the best thing is how he’s super in on live texting all the awards shows with us! Starting the first Oscsrs after mom died. He has hilarious commentary on the dresses. But does lose pace sometimes, for instance, “Wait! Who is Jenny Anni??”. The other day we had just wrapped up a three way phone call and my sister texted and said “I just love you guys so much!” and my dad popped back with “Feeling’s mewch!” AS IN MUTUAL!! I’m still laughing at that one!!! Couldn’t possibly love him more.

    • Jo says...

      what a wonderful and special relationship you have with your dad! I’m sorry your mom is no longer with you — she would be so proud of the way you’re all staying so close. makes me tear up.

  13. Whitney says...

    Last year, my father was in a bicycle accident and now he’s a quadriplegic. Needless to say, everything has changed for our family. His world is much smaller now, and it feels even more important to me to be in touch with him. He can still use his hands pretty well, so we text all the time. The thing that hasn’t changed since before his accident is his opener: “Hi dolly, how are you?” I feel so happy, every. single. time.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      What a lovely and loving text. And I’m so so sorry to hear about your dad’s accident.

  14. Krista says...

    i love this! my 60 year old dad does a double tap in between each word when he texts, which on an iphone makes a period. this is a function you can turn off, but i love his texts so much that i don’t want to show him! it’s become a classic joke between my close friends and i. An example of a text from my dad:

    Morn. Krista. Hope. All. Well. Snowing. Here. Depressing. Will. Find. Out. If . Anything. Happening. For. Easter. Ok. Let. Yu. Know. Luv. Yu. Dad

    somehow he also says ‘yu’ and never ‘you’ and always signs off with ‘Dad’ <3 what a man!

  15. Caitlyn says...

    My dad will send the most encouraging messages to me, just out of the blue. He’s been doing it since I was in college. He’ll say how much he misses my smile and always askes if I thought about applying for jobs closer to home. It’s like he senses when I need a little encouragement

  16. Christan says...

    My dad had rarely texted, he didnt see the point, he said (at that time he only had a flip phone for work.) but when I was at work one day, he texted me “Can you bring me a hot fudge sundae from Dairy Queen on your way home?” He finally figured out the point of texting.

  17. beth says...

    My dad signs all of his emails:

    Love,
    DAD

    (Always capitalized, like DON’T FORGET ABOUT YOUR DAD!!!!!)

    I love it so much

  18. This and the comments are so touching, kinda makes me wish I had a relationship with my dad before he passed away. I was always of the impression “you can’t miss something never had”. Then again he was a typical Nigerian dad, so I don’t think we would’ve had any sweet dad texts or moments. In hindsight, I’m glad my kids will have that.

  19. Tara says...

    My dad does not proof read his texts and I often have to call him for clarification. I once got one that said the internet was overrun with duck eggs. No, that would be the office intern, who apparently had a flock of ducks and more eggs than she could use. Yeah, I was completely baffled.

  20. Solveig says...

    My brother recently sent me a screenshot of our dad sending him baseball emojis. When my brother asked why, our dad responded that he thought the baseballs would get my brother’s attention! Mostly, he responds with just the sunglasses emoji (which is, perhaps, the most dad-like emoji there is.) Sometimes he will include a plain red heart, which is when I know he’s missing us a little extra.

    • Sarah says...

      The sunglasses emoji is the only one my Dad uses as well!! 😎

  21. Caitlin Pond says...

    These comments are gold. My mom starts every voicemail with, “It’s me!” My aunt does the same thing, and so did my grandmother. I never want to forget that.

    Meanwhile, my dad sounds furious on every voicemail. “CAITLIN POND, THIS IS YOUR FATHER. CALL ME.” Always the use of my full name. I’m 25 and I still feel like I’m in trouble every time he leaves a message. Then I call him back and he’s like, “HEY, what is the deal with all these green scooters?”

  22. kelli says...

    I am sitting at work reading these (whoops) and feeling so many emotions. Thank you to everyone for sharing! For many reasons, my dad and I don’t have this kind of relationship but my husband and I are looking to start a family soon and any sadness I feel over my relationship with my dad disappears when I think of the kind of ‘cool dad’ my quirky, lovable husband will be. Can’t wait to see.

    • Laura says...

      The same for me. And now I have a two months old baby, I melt down when I see my boys.
      You’ll see how beautiful it is.xx

  23. Meaghan says...

    My dad always ends phone calls by saying “stay in trouble.” Even as a kid, when I’d head out the door to play with friends or go to the pool, he’d call out, “Stay in trouble!”
    I really missed an opportunity to actually get into trouble and tell him I was just doing what he said.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Oh my gosh that is so so sweet and pro-adventure!

  24. Kate Moberg says...

    The best voicemail I ever got from my Dad:
    “Hey – it’s Dad. I have a new singer that I like in addition to Billy Idol. Her name is spelled A – D – E – L – E. Not sure how to pronounce it. Can you find me some of her music?”

    • caitlin says...

      this is so wonderful :)

    • Lacey says...

      in addition to Billy Idol. :). that is fantastic

  25. Jamie says...

    My Dad often replies to simple how are you texts with little stories. A recent one:
    “My friendly possums visited in their very raucous fashion at 5 this morning. Treading the not so light fantastic along the veranda and dancing on the iron. Their efforts applauded by kookaburra audience. I gave up and made a brew.”
    I love them.

    • Kristina says...

      This is so good. I love the “my friendly possums” LOL. So good 😂. It reminds me of that Geico commercial with the mom talking about the squirrels in the attic.

  26. Kaylyn says...

    My dad doesn’t totally understand Bitmojis, but he apparently does know how to take a screenshot and draw on screenshots with his stylus.

    He screenshotted a Bitmoji of me that I had sent to him, colored in the background yellow (!?) and then scribbled “POWER KAYLYN” on the top of it.

    Anytime I tell him something is going well in grad school or at work, he just repeatedly sends me the custom “POWER KAYLYN” Bitmoji several times. It is the most absurd thing…and I know he put a lot of effort into it; I can’t help but crack up every time!

    • Kathie says...

      That is so hilarious and amazing!

  27. Leah says...

    My dad is very good at technology (because he is a Nuclear Engineer??) but also was always the one to put together care packages and holiday gifts for my sister and I.

    One thing he always says over the phone is that if we’re in danger, we have to say the code word: Wombat Wombat. That way he knows it’s us and to send help!

    Dads.

    • Mollie says...

      100% of the time, my dad answers the phone with “Hi, this is John.” It’s ME dad, the one whose name popped up on your phone when it rang ;)

  28. Lacy says...

    My dad loves to send texts with his own, original acronyms for things. So we have to spend a few seconds deciphering them. He also likes to raz my husband with his love of the Houston Astros (my husband is a Rangers fan). This text is one of my personal favorites: “Wow, YWSCHA scored double digit runs yesterday. How many digits did LPTR score?” Translation: Your World Series Champion Houston Astros and Last Place Texas Rangers. ;-)

    • Christine says...

      Oh my god, my Dad does this too. Acronyms everywhere of his own creation!

  29. Kelsey says...

    My dad used to always put jokes in our lunches as kids. Since then he’s upgraded, he’s now written a code that texts us (all 5 of his daughters), two jokes every morning! It’s the cutest thing and helps us feel connected even though we’re miles away.

  30. Colleen says...

    This made me burst into tears and laughter at the same time. Dads are so, so incredibly wonderful. Thank you for this beautiful piece!

  31. Lillian says...

    My dad tends to sign texts with just “Love.” – (“Give us a call when you can. Love.”) It’s so distinctly my dad that I smile every time I see it.

    The other thing he does a lot is respond with “Smart girl!” when I text to explain how I managed to do something I considered pretty simple. (Ex: I recently let him know I found a building without any trouble after he warned me it might be tricky to find, and without fail, he responded with “Smart girl!”) It always makes me feel very loved and I know it’s his way of expressing how proud he is of me, small victories and all.

  32. This post and these comments are MAKING ME CRYYYY!

    • Vero says...

      Same here. My dad used to write the funniest text and I miss him so much. Thanks cup of Joe for make me think of him, I am going to print the one I still have <3

  33. Emily says...

    I taught my dad how to use GIFs in text messages. I created a monster.

    • Elizabeth says...

      This made me do a hearty little three second lol.

  34. Maelle says...

    My dad always tells me what time it is when he leaves me voicemails. So really he is just telling what time it is, period, because we are on the same time zone :)

  35. Amelia says...

    My dad does so many of these things! He always signs his texts “Dad” or says “this is your father” to kick off any voicemail he’s leaving me, he always tells me the time in his time zone and my time zone as well as the precise number of minutes remaining that he is available to chat before he has to do ABC activity, and he is acutely interested in the weather where each of us is and always gives me weather reports. And for sure he sends warnings about the latest ecoli outbreak with canteloupe or whatever. My kids find him hilarious because whenever something goes wrong, he says, “Rats!”

  36. Sarah says...

    I recently got a text from my dad that began with, “Greetings and salutations!” I died. The dad dorkiness is so real and so precious.

  37. Silvina says...

    My dad can’t control his fingers, so we usually get texts that say “6” or “hdgff”

  38. Cait says...

    I have the biggest smile on my face and chuckling from all these lovely or hilarious stories. Thank you everyone! My dad is a pretty normal texter (or WhatsApp as they live overseas) but sometimes he writes me long, thoughtful emails with advice or wisdom or encouragement I need. He still takes very seriously his role even though I’m an adult and wife and mom now, and I know he always will.

  39. Jessica Cash says...

    Can we have a post on family WhatsApp groups next? Group dynamics over text/WhatsApp are SO different. My dad is almost like another person in our family group – he just forwards videos and memes from other groups. This from a man who says he “hates technology” and “hates a cellphone”.

  40. Emmie says...

    My dad is always concerned about our safety. A recent email to my sister read:

    “So happy to hear about the new job. Very exciting. Just saw a show on Ted Bundy. Beware of helping anyone in an isolated place.

    Love,
    Dad”

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Oh my gosh, so dad-like. I love it.

  41. Anya says...

    My mom once sent me the green barf face emoji, and when I asked why, she said “green with envy!”

    • Jb says...

      Hahahahah ❤️

    • Kelly says...

      My mom is now captioning all her emojis! She told me this is her way of learning what they mean. Smiley face with squtinty eyes “(haha emoji)”. Smiley face with tears coming out of eyes “(LOL emoji)”. Face with flat horizontal mouth “(sorry emoji)”.

  42. cb says...

    My dad isn’t a big phone talker… but by grandpa (passed away in the early 2000’s) was when he was alive. He worked for Kodak film his whole career, and was notorious for claiming he had “phonovision” and could see us grandkids over the phone when chatting. He’d open every analog call by telling you that you were looking great / asking why you picked that sweater etc. As kids we had great fun devising trick questions trying to prove that he couldn’t really see us. I so wish he’ lived long enough to experience the Skype / Facetime reality we are in now – he would have loved it. He’d also sign off every call by asking “will you do me a favour” (…yes grandpa…) “promise you’ll stay as nice as you are”. So sweet!

    • Eleanor says...

      This made me tear up! He sounds like such a great grandpa and such a kind person.

    • Leigh says...

      So sweet. I think I might do that to my kids.

  43. Ashley says...

    Hahaha I died reading these. My dad does the same thing as Gemma’s, he is such a weirdo. In addition to telling me his time in central, and mine in eastern, he will tell me how long until he’s going to bed.
    “Hey Ashley, it’s your Dad here, it’s about 7:30 by me which means it’s 8:30 by you. I’ll be up for about 40 more minutes, call me back”.
    Someone mentioned saving some of your parent’s voicemails and I thought that was such a good idea. I make fun of him now but someday I think those will be very heartwarming to hear :)

    • Dave says...

      They will for sure. I wished I would of saved some of my mom’s voicemails. Man I miss her

  44. Jennifer says...

    My freshman year in college my Dad called me every night. This was back in 1990 when there was one payphone on the floor of the dorm. Like clockwork at 8pm the phone would ring and I would hear someone shout out McMahon guess who? He would ask how I was and then say ok talk to you tomorrow. It is one of my sweetest memories.

    • molly says...

      This broke my heart in the best way. SUCH a precious thing to do! xo

  45. Leah says...

    Gemma! My mom does the exact same thing! EVERY.DAMN.TIME. So ridiculous and hilarious–I’m in central time and she’s on eastern, so it’s not too difficult to figure out, but she always says it anyway:)

  46. Lindsey says...

    Oh I couldn’t love this more. It took us years to realize somehow, but slowly we (five siblings) all started realizing dad would say “Hi, Lindsey, it’s your Dad, of course” on every voicemail. We all whipped out our cell phones and starting playing old voicemails, and an echo of “Hi (insert child’s name), it’s your Dad, of course” rang across the couch. We were all DYING LAUGHING. Every. Voicemail.

  47. Fiona says...

    My dad is Mexican but we grew up speaking English as a family and he’s always gone by “Daddy” (sometimes Dadito, a smush between Daddy and Papito). I remember in college being embarassed when a friend overheard me talking to him over the phone and calling him “daddy” – it felt so childish – so I decided to feel out “dad” on a voice-mail one day and he immediately called me back “AM I NOT YOUR DADDY ANY MORE??” He was back to “daddy” immediately, and has been since – I’m 37.

    • Uma says...

      Lol!! Your dad is so cute 😇

    • Tara says...

      I’m 33 and my dad is still my daddy. (And his dad was still his daddy until my grandfather passed away at 91 years old.) Once as a teenager I wrote “Dad” on the envelope of his birthday card and he asked me, “What’s with the abbreviation?”

  48. SarahGM says...

    My dad does the same thing as Gemma’s! I used to live across the country and I’d always get the same start to every voicemail, “Hi Sarah, its Dad, its X my time which means its Y your time,”

    Dad, I know its you, its my cell, I have caller ID!

  49. valentina says...

    I love this! My dad is an Iraqi refugee and, despite being in the states for over 30 years, still has a thick accent and a tentative grasp on the English language. I’ve got a few gems related to his texting:
    – He texts my two sisters and I every single day (without fail) to say ‘good morning, girls’
    – He says ‘it’s’ instead of ‘it is’ inappropriately (i.e., “Is that your favorite movie?” “Yes, it’s.” !)
    -He uses talk-to-text for almost 100% of his texts, and it often (as it does with anyone, but then a little extra) puts in the wrong word for whatever he’s trying to say, which can make it really difficult to understand his texts. But we’ve recently discovered a hack: reading it to ourselves *in his accent*! It works every time. A few examples: “said” shows up as “side,” “burrito” shows up as “barrio” (go figure!)

    He’s the best.

  50. Meghan says...

    Once my dad discovered that he could take/send pictures on his phone he started sending out a semi-regular “pic of the day” to his children. It’s usually him or my mom posed in front of whatever their outdoor adventure was that day :)

    • Amelia says...

      This is great. I have a zillion photos of my kids but actually not so many of my parents. I hope your dad keeps it up!

  51. Kate says...

    I didn’t expect to but I keep laughing out loud in the office reading this. What a great treat dads are. As I write this, my dad and mom are watching my three year old while my husband and I are on a work trip and I know they are getting up to absolute mischief and making up new words and inside jokes. I hope that as a mom I can also carve an eccentric little place into my daughters’ hearts when they’re grown up. I might start by signing all texts by shouting “BLESSINGS COMMA MAMA!” into the phone voice-to-text, a-la Ginny’s comment.

  52. Tammy says...

    Without fail when we are parting ways, and even when they are prominently in my hand, and once when I was actually turning the lock to my front door, he will ask me: “You got your keys?”

    If I am driving somewhere (a long distance of course), he will call and ask where I am and then give me an approximation of the number of miles left and my expected arrival time. I always patiently wait for him to do his calculation.

    And my favorite…..

    My dad, who is always still amazed by what his smartphone can do, calls his cell phone a COMPUTER. “Hey, would you mind handing me my computer?” When challenged on why can’t you just call it your phone, he always says “Because that’s what it is.” Touché.

  53. Amanda says...

    My dad isn’t big on texting but one day, out of the blue, he sent one that read, ” Pigeons are in the house. Pudding came out fine.” What?

    When I texted him back immediately to make sure everyone was alright, he just laughed and said, ” Just getting your attention and it worked! How are you? Love you. Miss you.” It might be the most ‘my dad’ thing my dad has ever done.

  54. Kim says...

    Over the past few years, my mom has descended into dementia and her conversational skills are long gone. I had the thought one day to forward all the voicemails I’ve saved from her to my Evernote and Dropbox, in case they were ever erased from my phone. My daughter and I talk daily but I’m going to make a point of recording some stories and memories for her to have one day when we can’t, because I’m not sure I have anything with my dad’s voice (he’s been gone for 30 years). I have his handwriting, but not his voice. His brother, who sounded just like him to me, passed five years ago and it felt like my dad was even more gone, if that makes sense. Hug your dads!

  55. Abby says...

    My dad used to type (emails, texts, whatever) in all caps only. I once saw him open up his email client and before he started typing, he carefully made sure the caps lock was on before he did his hunt-and-peck. When I asked him why and noted that it kinda seems like he’s SHOUTING everything, he wrinkled his brow and told me, “I don’t like it when the letters on the screen don’t match the letters on the keys!”

    He’s figured out capitalization in the last few years, but I kinda wish he hadn’t. :)

    • Christina says...

      hahahaha ‘hunt and peck’

  56. Kristen says...

    My dad cannot stop referring to texts as “emails” so I’ve given up trying to correct him. So he will send a text and if I haven’t responded within a 30-minute window, he will follow up with a phone call to make sure I saw his “email”. He also usually signs each of his “emails” with the upside-down smiley face emoji.

  57. Katrina says...

    I often complain about having dressed inappropriately for the weather, so my dad now sends me an audio message every morning with his take on the forecast, complete with commentary and sound effects. I cherish them so much!

  58. Helena says...

    My dad signs his texts with ‘DA’, which is short for (no, not Dumbledore’s Army) but “Der Alte”. We are not German and my mom is his senior by two years. I don’t know where he picked it up, or why he is using it.

  59. Maggie says...

    My dad just sent a text yesterday that said, “Holy Guacamole!” which I could never hear him saying irl. So cute. Also, my dad still writes me letters about once or twice a month and always includes a $20 bill. Lately he’s been sending old photos of him as a baby or me on my 8th-grade basketball team. The best part is everything he included in the letter, he already told me in our weekly Sunday night phone call.

    • Celine says...

      Awww. The handwritten letters and the $20 – I always get the equivalent in euros, although I am now 44. He’ll write that is to repay the stamp i put on my last letter (aka sending him back some nonsense redtape per his request). The texts AND letters usually start with “my dearest daughter”. Well, I *guess* I am his only daughter, aren’t I?

  60. SFord says...

    Loving that picture next to an old Cornish stone wall – things of beauty!

  61. Kate says...

    My Dad is the only person on the planet who uses the automatically supplied response texts on his Android (“be right there!” or the very dry “I’m in a meeting. I’ll call you back.”), but he’ll use them for any occasion — and keep ON using them in a text conversation, so that eventually you’re perfectly confused and you realize you’re talking to BotDad.

    He did create a useful auto-response of his own for efficient texting: “Did you try turning it off and on again?” and “Is it plugged in?”

    • Devon McLaughlin says...

      My dad does the same thing, especially that he is driving and will respond later! WHICH HE NEVER DOES!!! I think it’s a dad-only smart phone features.

  62. Minn says...

    I love all these comments and so many made me teary eyed thinking of my dad and how he may not be here one day. But also made me smile in thinking of how my daughter will later remember my husband.

    My dad is an ex-navy officer and established marine biologist. He is the epitome of diligence and accuracy. I’m the eldest of three girls and we’ve all studied abroad and now live in major cities (my sisters in New York). He always checks in via our family chat to see if we’re safely back home from school, work, dates, etc. Once in a while, instead of asking if we’re all home, he’ll just say “count!” (translated from Korean, and what they do in military before lights out to make sure each solider is counted for) and my sisters and I (and sometimes my mom too if she happens to be traveling or away from home) will count off, “one!”, “two!”, “three!”. We usually scramble not to be the last one so he doesn’t get on our case hehe

    • Jess says...

      Omg this is legit AMAZING. Lol!! Military dads, amirite?

  63. txilibrin says...

    This made me cry. I’m so jealous. I realized since we all switch phones all the time I have none of my dad’s texts. So jealous of everyone of you that has a dad in their life. Keep them. Love them

    • Caroline says...

      Me too. I miss my Dad so much.

    • Laura says...

      Me three. My dad died 7 months ago and I’m hanging onto my ancient phone until I can figure out the best way to save his texts and voicemails.

  64. RN says...

    My dad ends all of his text messages with a string of hearts. He is from northern England, so every time he picks up he says the same thing: “Hi pet, how are you?” And it makes me feel like a loved and protected little kid all over again (I’m in my 30s). Every time it snows he texts pictures, haha.

  65. Carrie says...

    When my dad calls, it’s usually out of the blue and he always begins with “HEY SUGGA (translation: sugar)! Been thinkin’ ’bout you and just wanted to hear your voice!” Of course all said in his South Texas drawl. It’s sweet and endearing and always warms my heart.

  66. Ellie says...

    I feel like I could come up with several replies to this post, but my favorite is that my dad sends articles that he thinks I might like. He used to pull the section of the newspaper aside for me, neatly folded. These days they’re almost always emailed or Facebook messaged, especially since I live 1,000 miles away, but he’s been doing this as long as I can remember. There’s never an expectation to reply or have thoughts about the article to share with them. It’s just a simple way to say, “I’m thinking about you. Here’s something you might find interesting.”

    My mom does it too, though her articles usually come in the mail with stickers on the envelope or silly notes included too. One of the ways I knew my husband was “in” with them was when they started sending articles to him too! I’m not sure where this tradition started, but I find myself doing the same all the time!! If I see an article or column or blog post that makes me think of someone or a conversation we had, I send it over! I see it as a way that I’m becoming my parents in a good way.

    • Kim says...

      Ellie, I just had a laugh yesterday realizing that I do this with my daughter because my mom always did this with me! She clipped newspaper articles and Dear Abby columns and mailed them to me, so now I email links of news stories and blog posts to my 30yo daughter in Chicago. I have sent her so many COJ links :)

    • Kat says...

      My grandma used to do this for my Dad – she lived in Hawaii and we are in Australia and she’s not the best communicator, but every now and then a newspaper article would show up in an envelope addressed to Dad. No note, no explanation. We LOVED it.

  67. Megan says...

    Have had the best time reading these! When we were little kids and my dad had some random injury, we’d ask what happened and he would always say “the doorbell rang, and there were three ninjas. I karate chopped the first one, and i knocked out the second one, but the third one [slashed my forehead]” or whatever it was. Much more interesting than “I accidentally whacked myself with the corner of the kitchen cabinet” or whatever actually happened.
    Also when we we ask if he got a haircut, he says “no, I got all of them cut.” Every single time.

    My grandpa is also wonderful and he usually answers the phone, asks if everything is fine and then just says “here’s Gram”.. but every once in a while he wants to chat and has some advice about our business and how to manage people. Love my grandpa.

  68. Jennifer says...

    My dad doesn’t use any punctuation in his texts, so they cover several topics as one big, long, run-on sentence. He also frequently (VERY frequently) talks about mowing the grass or shoveling snow, depending on the season. I absolutely love it.

  69. Nik says...

    I’m 43 and my dad is now 95. At 13 I moved in with him full time and we’ve been thick as thieves ever since. He’s still incredibly sharp and while there’s never been any texting, I love calling and asking him what kind of trouble he’s gotten into that day- there’s always a chuckle and something funny from my dad like, “You know sweetie, I’m starting to slow down a little”.

  70. Ker says...

    I’m sure he would have been Mariah <3

  71. Genevieve Martin says...

    When I was at uni he used to send me postcards and once he signed it “love Tim/Dad” (I’m guessing because he wrote his name without thinking then had to correct it) but my uni friend found it so hilarious that she always asks after him “how is Tim-slash-Dad?”

  72. Ilaria says...

    I laugh so much reading about Ginny’s dad saying out loud “BLESSING COMMA DAD”!

    • Martha says...

      Me too!! This one made my morning. Mostly bc my dad uses Siri constantly but when stuck in the car with him recently, I found out he’s really gruff with Siri! I was laughing so hard at him yelling “Siri! SIRI!!!”.

  73. Marianne says...

    Once my dad ended a text to me with 25 different animal emojis and the sentence “this is how many animals I love you”. It’s become a bit of a tradition now to end our texts to each other with a bunch of random animal emojis.

    • hita says...

      awwwwww. I am never going to see animal emojis the same again.

    • Casey says...

      My dad is NOT a big cell phone guy (he uses my mom’s old iPhone 3 and we usually have to remind him to actually bring it with him when he goes places alone), BUT he is SO strangely good with using GIFs in his text messages. I have no idea how he figured out how to use them, but 99% of his texts include some hilarious and/or perfectly appropriate GIF of Taylor Swift making the heart sign with her hands, a puppy snoring, a baby dancing, some actor making a face, etc etc etc. I laugh out loud every time :)

      He also starts every voicemail with “Hey Case, this is Dad” and ends every visit/call with “we’ll see you!”

      To echo so many other posters….he’s the best! :)

  74. Jessica says...

    My dad likes to text acronyms for things that aren’t really meant to be acronyms… For example, when coordinating a dinner out, he said he was OTPG (On top of the parking garage). My siblings and I always give him a hard time for his acronyms and he, in turn, can’t understand how his message couldn’t possibly have been clear!

  75. Helen says...

    Every year my dad goes on a week long camping and salmon fishing trip with his college buddies who are all now retired. If he catches anything, he will call me straight away, regardless of what time of day or night it might be and excitedly tell me all about it. The rest of the family will casually find out later haha.

    My father in law on the other hand, signs all his texts to his children with an angry faced emoji. So it’ll be like. “Ok, pick you up in five! *angry face*”, or “Congrats on the new job! *angry face*” haha. (He’s not ever actually angry, he just finds this very funny.)

    • Chloe says...

      Haha, Helen – My dad does the same thing with using the embarrassed emoji thinking it’s a cheerful emoji – ex: “wow what a beautiful picture!!! *embarrased emoji* :) dad’s are the best

  76. Juliana says...

    My dad has a love/hate relationship with texting which I find quite comical. He’s a big talker, so he just CANNOT write a short text message, they are always mini novels. He doesn’t text much, but when I get these long text messages from him, I know that it took him absolutely ages to write it, because he always hits the wrong buttons on his smart phone (his digital nemesis.) So every time I read his messages, I know he was definitely raging at his phone the entire time he wrote it!

    He’s also really gotten into emojis, with different emojis referring to different people. I’m represented by the rose emoji (I’m a florist) and my husband is the surfer emoji. And of course, every text is formally signed off with “luv D”

  77. JR says...

    My dad is terrible at texting or calling. And when I call, I always feel like I’m interrupting him. However, he is fantastic at this thing called “JibJab” – it’s a where you upload pictures of faces of your friends or family and the website puts them onto bodies that sing and dance in a birthday card. Ironically, making these cards takes a RIDICULOUS amount of time to do, but usually yields a hilarious (and, at times, inappropriate) result. The first thing out of his mouth when you see him next is: “Did you see my Jib Jab?” He thinks it’s the best thing in the world!

    My dad may not have time to answer the phone at the office or text, but he makes time for us in his own way.

  78. When I was sixteen, I got my first cell phone, and my dad recorded the voice mail message. It was something like “You’ve reached Dorothy’s phone, this is HER FATHER speaking, leave a message and she MIGHT call you back!” My friends thought it was mortifying and couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t record a new message. He sounded so intimidating! No one ever left me voice mail. But I thought it was hilarious and kept it for years. He died this past November. What I wouldn’t give to still have that old Nokia phone!

  79. Anonymous says...

    I read this blog every night while I tub and I am sitting here weeping.
    I started weeping because the posts were so sweet … then it became sobs as I realized that I will never have a tender relationship with my father as is displayed in these experiences. My dad does not identify with his role as a father and I am still working through my insecurity around our relationship, even at 33.

    I’ve come to terms with it, but I can’t help but read these comments and mourn a certain loss of what could have been. How I yearn for what so many of you have! Remember how fortunate you are and PLEASE continue sharing so some of us can live vicariously through you. I am truly happy to know that people – women especially – have the tender gifts of DadTexts.

    • A says...

      I really feel you.

    • Linsey says...

      I’m with you on this. My real day was absentee and passed away a few years ago. My stepdad, who basically raised me, was awesome when I was a kid and early twentysomething, but has honestly sucked these past few years. Both of my parents have. It’s like they don’t know how to parent adult children. He didn’t even come to my son’s 1st birthday party last month. He is included on our “grandparents” group text, but never comments on the pictures or stories we share.

      I am lucky to have a great father-in-law and a great step-father-in-law that more than make up for it all, though.

    • Another Anonymous says...

      Oh Anonymous. I’m right there with you. I’ve had a contentious relationship with my father my whole life and I’ve never felt safe around him because of his mercurial temper. Some days he’d be ok with me no matter what bratty thing I said or did, and some days even the most innocuous act/word would end up in violence upon my person. To this day I cannot deal with any man raising his voice at me without my heart missing a beat out of involuntary fear and flinching a little bit, and I’m now 41! My father was so manipulative that he would even use chitchat/normal conversation to pry information out of me about my much older siblings to try and guilt them into giving him more money than they already were, which resulted in me never wanting to talk to him or volunteer ANY information in case it was later used against me or my siblings, whom I was closer to. He was also a nightmare at my wedding (which he did NOT help pay for at all yet felt entitled to make endless demands) with his selfishness and embarrassingly money-grubbing shamelessness (he wanted to keep my wedding gifts!). All of which to say, technology would not have made any difference because we never had much of a relationship, largely because I’ve had to protect my inner life from him and his bipolar/manipulative behavior to preserve my own sanity. He passed a few years ago, and at the time my one overwhelming feeling was relief. There was some anecdotal evidence that he may have mellowed a bit with age — or at least according to my sis — but I was never tempted to reopen that can of worms with him myself because he’d made it abundantly clear that he didn’t respect me at all. I’m on a more even keel now in that I no longer wish for something that clearly could never have happened with his level of self-awareness or lack thereof. But all these comments showing sweet instances of how great a father-daughter relationship could be — I gotta be honest, it does still sting a little. Not begrudging anyone else their very lovely dads but I don’t think anyone else who’s never had to deal with an emotionally abusive father can ever truly understand how those of us who were not as blessed feel.

  80. My dad falls under the always answers his phone category until the past year or so when he’s been inundated with people calling to see how my mom is doing (she’s been battling the side effects of treatment for ovarian cancer.) But anytime she’s in a good spell, he’s back to answering on the first or second ring. Always with a cheerful “Gracie!” His texts are generally abrupt with a few cute emojis thrown in. I’ve lived away from home for over 10 years and I’m grateful for all the technology that keeps us close!

  81. My dad signs all his texts with the nerdy emoticon, the one with the glasses. He wears glasses, I wear glasses and I when I was a kis it to used to drive my brothers crazy that I had that in common with our dad that they did not have. Proud daddy’s girl here.

  82. Michal says...

    My dad and I don’t often text or call; he’s only talkative in person. But he is always sharing tweets on our family group message and it cracks me up. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t actually ever tweet; I can’t imagine him tweeting a single thing. But he shares at least a tweet a day, everything from news and scam alerts to punny Catholic jokes. It’s his way of keeping in touch.

  83. My dad has started to exclusively voice text me using his animoji (the animals and people you can use with iMessages). His animoji doesn’t look him at all, so it’s a little alarming to receive if we haven’t texted for a while but I don’t have the heart to tell him it doesn’t look like him because I think he really enjoys it, haha. My dad is a stockbroker and spends a lot of the time yelling at people on the phone, so I just crack up when I think of him in his office, leaning back in his chair, speaking into the phone “so how’s married life going?” <3

  84. Nandim says...

    Love reading all of these! My dad and I have a strained relationship. I usually am fine with that, I generally didn’t want contact with him after the way he messed up my and my sisters’ childhoods and the way he treated my mom, but I remember last year he would text a groupchat with both my sisters but not me. Hate to say it but it bothered me.

    • tod says...

      it’s always horrible to be left out :-(
      I hope you have some other lovely people in your life instead.
      wishing you all the best!

    • Elisabeth says...

      Just popping in to say you’re not alone. I always get sad when I read these sweet dad stories. My dad and I don’t have a relationship; I cut him out about 10 years ago, after 28 years of dealing with his narcissism. I don’t regret it, but I do wish I had one of these kind dads, especially as I get older.

  85. Tara says...

    This is the best thread of all time! My Dad has an antique electronics shop in London, which is unique and so he has some cool customers in there. One of his regular customers is Jarvis Cocker (singer of a band Pulp who are/were huge in the UK in the 90s) and he once got Jarvis to send me a text message on my Whatsapp! The next time Jarvis came in they posed for a selfie together and sent it to me!! I almost died. The most dad thing my dad does is TYPE ALL OF HIS TEXT MESSAGES AND EMAILS IN CAPS, AS IF HE IS SHOUTING. Which makes me and my sisters laugh : )

    • Rebecca says...

      Tara, that is so cool!

    • Jax says...

      Tara, I’m so jealous! I love Jarvis Cocker!
      He’s probably most “famous” to Americans for being animated in Wes Anderson’s the Fantastic Mr. Fox. He’s the folk singer and guitarist in it.

      Your Dad sounds very cool too! My Dad is an audiophile and used to sell electronics in the 70s/80s.

  86. My dad rarely texts me, and when he does, it’s very short and to the point, typically giving me an update on a doctor’s appointment or something.

    But one year I got my dad a John Fogerty autobiography that I thought he’d enjoy as an alternative to his usual Clive Cussler books. He sent me a thank you text after he read the book, and since the texts are so rare, I felt so proud knowing he must have REALLY loved the book to send a text message about it. I got a similar thank you text after sending him framed photos of my older brothers as kids, and it even included an emoji.

    In email though, my dad always signs his name in all caps. “Love, DAD.” Like it’s an acronym. Or he’s yelling his name. It’s great.

  87. Lucy says...

    My dad and I are not very close, which has been a source of stress for me growing up. But reading this post made me smile because it made me think of something endearing about him. I realized that every time he and my mom travel, he sends me a word document with an itinerary of their trip, down to the exact time they expect to arrive and leave a particular hotel. I’m an only child and he wants me to know where they are at all times in case I need to reach them (yes, they have international cell phones). He signs these emails the same way he signs every email he sends me: “daddy.” I haven’t called him daddy since I was about seven years old, but I guess he still thinks of himself that way.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      That’s really sweet, Lucy.

  88. LaReesa says...

    Bahhhh just over here crying my eyes out at these adorable comments!! My dad doesn’t text, but he loves phone calls. He calls a lot when there is a band on TV he thinks I’ll like, or some show that is tangentially related to my life or my husband’s. Then he likes to remain on the phone for a bit and talk about whatever is on TV with some play-by-play commentary. I was laid off last year, so he would call with random but well-paying jobs that he spotted in the paper ❤❤❤ most I was not remotely qualified for but thanks for your vote of confidence, Dad!

  89. hanna says...

    Everytime my Dad tries to sign a message “love you” he misses the O and types “live you”, and now he’s done it so many times that his phone autocorrects love to live everytime. <3

  90. Anne Elliot says...

    My Dad is conservative and at 80 is getting more so, but he is still suspicious of passing on bad information. So when some questionable thing gets forwarded to him (fwd: fwd: fwd:), he frequently asks me to tell him if it’s true or not. So he texts me “Check Snerps”. He means Snopes.com but doesn’t remember the name and once he called it Snerps and I laughed and laughed so now he calls it Snerps on purpose.

    “Annie is this true? [Link] Check Snerps. Love your old Dad”

    • Dimity says...

      I don’t know why but this brought tears to my eyes! Something about the role reversal, ‘your old Dad’ asking you for clarification on the ways of the world, when for so many years it must have been the other way around. Sob!

  91. Amy Cohen says...

    My dad isn’t much of a texter but when he emails, he always puts the message in the subject line with no text in the actual message. It’s never more than a single question or statement but he also never uses capitalization or punctuation – so my phone will pop up with an email subject that is something like “moms birthday dinner friday 8 at oceanique.” My siblings and I endlessly joke about it!

  92. Dawn says...

    My dad made up the funniest nicknames for us when we were little. I was “Pamela Farkenstarker”, my brother Jon was, “Iven Borjonofev” and my little brother was, “Scroggins”. I’m 50, and every once in a while, he still calls me Pam and it sure does make me happy.

    • Rita says...

      I LOVE his name for you fantastic Pamela Farkenstarker!

    • jenn says...

      THIS is everything. Made me laugh so hard. We are big with nicknames in our family and “Farkenstarker” is the best.

  93. mindi says...

    One year for my birthday, my dad sent a text that read:

    …. .- .–. .–. -.– / -… .. .-. – …. -.. .- -.– /
    .-.. — …- . –..– / -.. .- -..

    Followed by:
    “That said, ‘Happy birthday. Love, Dad’ (that was morse code)”

    • Dee says...

      Hahahaha I am here for this kind of Dad action Mindi!

  94. Courtney says...

    After reading through so many of these hilarious and heartwarming stories, I went to check what gems my Dad and I might have texted each other:

    Dad: Testing Whatsapp
    Me: Testing working!

    That’s it! Hahaha clearly we need to text more often… (we do have a family group chat which he lurks in and sometimes gets a word in edgewise between my mom, sister and me)

    • Helen says...

      Hahah I have a huge collection of emails from my dad with subject line “test” and just “test” in the body. I don’t know what in the world happens, but I feel like I have to delete and reinstall his email account on his phone every other week haha. And every time after he sends me a “test email” to see if it works.

  95. Grace says...

    My Dad passed away unexpectedly a little over a month ago. Dad was a retired engineer, and he embraced technology like smartphones and iMessages. Despite living in different countries, Dad and I kept in touch via text and phone calls between our visits. Dad was a straightforward guy- no need for emojis- I always knew exactly what he meant. We would text about daily life: my 10 month old daughter, planned travel, the weather, and our dogs’ latest antics. I find myself now looking back at our texts with such fondness- the phone calls are gone, but the texts are such great evidence of the wonderful relationship we were so lucky to enjoy.

    • karen says...

      I’m so sorry for your loss and hope you’ll find comfort in those messages. I think it’s great that he didn’t need emojis! (keeping myself from inserting a blue heart or smiling emoji…) Take care!

  96. Sara Gorrell says...

    I love dad texts! My dad use to text, “Call when you have a few minutes” which would immediately stress me out. He started texting “Call when you get a few minutes everyone is ok.” Lol! I also have an uncle who sends me dad like texts. He sends me a bitmoji (which I made for him) every holiday, or just for fun or signs his text heavy texts with the sunglasses emoji.

  97. Katherine says...

    This past Christmas, my father-in-law kept texting us “yeah” in response to non-questions (“We’re about two hours out” “Yeah”), and when we asked him about it, we learned that he thought “yay” was spelled “yeah.” He switched it to “yay,” no punctuation, which we told him came across a little sarcastically…so he has changed it to “hooray.” It still comes across as unenthusiastic, and it makes me laugh.

    My own father suffered a stroke almost ten years ago, when I was in college, and it changed his communication style. When he feels lonely, he texts my brothers and me “life advice” (often in the form of quotes) or details about his day, always with a bunch of exclamation points, regardless of whether they’re appropriate to the situation. For example, “All we have is cold rain and heavy winds!!- not really fun weather to be out in!!” or “At another funeral! Miss Louise!” It can be darkly funny, and my brothers and I have a group text where we share our favorites. I could probably be better about texting him out of the blue; I know he would love that.

    His voice changed slightly after the stroke, and sometimes when I’m feeling down I ask my mom to tell me when he’s in the shower (so he won’t pick up), and I call his phone to hear his voicemail, which was recorded probably about 15 years ago. He often sounds anxious or uncertain now, but he sounds strong and confident in the old recording. It makes me feel safe.

    • M says...

      That’s so touching. You sound like you have an incredible dad.

    • mindi says...

      You last paragraph is particularly sweet, Katherine. Thank you for sharing.

    • Dee says...

      My mother had a stroke at 50 (now 10 years ago) and it changed her communication too. I think you capture the experience perfectly here.

    • A says...

      When my dad passed away my mom took over his phone. And kept his voicemail. So sometimes when I call and she’s busy or can’t hear the phone it goes to voicemail and I get to hear his voice all these years later. Other times when I miss him I will send her a message and tell her I’m going to call but she mustn’t answer and let it go to voicemail.

    • H says...

      Katherine, my dad also had a massive stroke 18 months ago – and he also texts a lot more AND uses exclamation points for everything! And his voice has also changed to be less confident. I hadn’t thought of calling his voicemail, and to be honest I don’t think I’m ready to do that as it’s still all quite raw. But maybe in the future.

      Anyway, all this to say – it’s nice to hear from someone else who’s experienced the same thing, and who sees the comedy in it too xx

    • Kate says...

      Your last paragraph made me tear up. Thinking of you and your father today.

  98. This is such a charming and loving post. I’d like to second Gemma’s suggestion to save DadVMs and DadTexts. My dad died a few years ago and sometimes I wish I could hear his voice saying something completely ordinary like, ‘This is your progenitor. What does it mean ‘to party?’ When you come over on Friday, will we be partying?”

  99. Amy says...

    In my family we all joke about the birthday card messages my dad writes. Every year, every kid, it’s the same format: Dear A, HBD, Love D. He’ll buy you a nice card with plenty of blank space and write that teeny tiny message inside. It’s hilarious.

  100. Michelle says...

    When I was away at college, my dad NEVER called me first (except twice when there was a family emergency). He never wanted to interrupt my schedule and always reminded me that I was the one who HAD to call first. I would call a couple times a week and every call ended with, “remember to call me okay? I like to catch up. But YOU call me.” I just graduated and am living at home at the moment, so calls are at the minimum, but my younger brother is a sophomore in college and he gets the same treatment. His birthday was Saturday, so I tried to facetime him with my dad. My dad was in SHOCK that I would just call my brother out of the blue, on his birthday, and during March Madness nonetheless!!

  101. One word: Bitmoji :)

  102. Carly says...

    My dad and I usually take the first 5 minutes of any phone call to make weird noises at each others and call each other nicknames. Example:

    Me: PAPARAZZI!
    Dad: CHALUPA!
    Me: HELLO MOTO!
    Dad: JOKER’S LAST LAUGH! (Some inside joke I don’t think either of us remember?”
    Me: ALALALALALA
    Dad: And a HOODAHALALA

    *laughter*

    Dad: So anyway, I need to take Z out for her birthday, what day is good for her?

    <3

  103. Tara Lamoureux says...

    Every Friday, my dad calls or texts to say, “Happy Friday Dear, I sure do love you.” You have no idea, Dad. ❤️❤️

    • Elly says...

      That is so sweet!!

    • rachel says...

      ….weepy.

    • Amelia says...

      How sweet!!!

  104. Hilary says...

    My dad is 76 and has never sent a text in his life, but he’s a great phone talker. He always calls me “Hilly” (my name is Hilary), and I still call him “Daddy.” We will be going nuts together over a political issue, and he will say with so much seriousness, “Hilly, I’ll tell you what…” It’s the most endearing thing. When my life feels scary or hard, my dad’s voice on the other end of the phone still brings me great peace.

  105. Mariah says...

    These are all so sweet…makes me wish my dad was living much much more but the cool thing is since he died before I was born and I didn’t know him, I can imagine him as this amazing daddy who loves me so much… which makes me feel better when I get down about it.

  106. Jess says...

    The comments are wonderful. I noticed that many people have dads that live far away. CoJ – I want to request a post about ideas on how to maintain a long distance grandparent-grandchild relationship. Like do you send stuff in the mail? What? FaceTime? Etc…

    • Elise says...

      Yes please! I’m about to have my first child and all of the grandparents live out of state.

    • Nadine Lindstrom says...

      Hi Jess, After he graduated from university, my son moved from Vancouver, BC to London, England. 22 years ago. We have a scheduled FaceTime visit every Sunday (while the little girls have their dinner). It is great – almost feels like a real visit and we keep up to date on their everyday life. “Regularly scheduled” is the key.

      Good luck!

    • Amy Cohen says...

      We do this with my inlaws who live in Florida (we are in Chicago)!
      – Regular weekly FaceTime dates. Include reading books or singing songs.
      – Talk about them along with other family members who are closer by. For example, my parents are closer to us and when we are having dinner with them we’ll also talk about what we think Grandma and Grandpa Vinson are having for dinner.
      – Make the build-up to visits really exciting. Count down on a calendar, pack one thing a day for a couple weeks, etc.
      – Include the kids in preparing for the grandparents’ visit. If they are staying with you, have the kids help set up the room (mine draw artwork to hang in it). Or have them plan an outing, like a restaurant or museum they want to go to.
      – Talk to the grandparents about what the kids are up to so they can have informed conversations. Like when Grandpa asks “Eleanor, did you get to be the weather helper at school today?” she gets so excited that he knows she loves to be the weather helper.
      – My inlaws send my kids teeny gifts (like dollar store stuff) for all of the little holidays. It makes it special for them to get something in the mail from Grandma and Grandpa.

      Good luck!

    • Erin says...

      My parents read picture books to my sons via FaceTime. My mom has purchased some special books that the kids only hear this way, plus they still have a few books from my childhood that are also in the mix.

    • Megan says...

      I’ve always grown up far from my grandparents and when I was 10, my parents would put me on a plane by myself and I’d spend a week with them in the summer. We just got to bond by ourselves. My grandma also sends a card for every occasion, even now as I’m 33 and married. She’s the best at finding the one hallmark card that says “to my granddaughter and her husband..”

    • Margaret says...

      We live in France, grandparents in Scotland. My dad has no idea to have a conversation with a child (never did), isn’t online and I was worried the kids would never develop a relationship with him. Ten years ago, when my eldest was 2, I came up with “Grandad stories”.

      We bought two copies of several picture books, sent one to him and kept one. On Tuesday nights, we called him, my son chose a story, and Grandad read it to him, pointing out things in the pictures and saying “turn the page” when it was time. Grandad would happily read the book, then say goodnight. No awkward non-conversations, and a lovely ritual. It has now lasted 10 years, with an ever expanding collection of books, kids gradually learning to read pages to Grandad, moving on to chapter books and classics. I never thought it would go on so long, but we still call on the landline, every Tuesday, for a Grandad story.

    • Dee says...

      When we were children my brother and I used to record cassette tapes and send them to my maternal grandparents who lived the other side of the country. It was real cabaret stuff (8-year old style), songs, poems, jokes… all linked together by a – serious voice – compare, ‘James, will now be telling a joke’. I’ve got two little girls now and also live some distance from my folks but I don’t know what the modern equivalent of that is? A whatsapp voice message doesn’t seem the same somehow!

    • Tachel says...

      My parents love out of state. We FaceTime, they mail letters (just because, back to school, Halloween… all the occasions). They send texts just for my kids to read (to my phone). And my absolute favorite- got a special (hallmark) book that allows to to voice record. they joint recorded themselves reading (each took every other page) the night before Christmas. So now when my kids open the book and turn the pages, grandma and grandpa’s voices come out of the story. It feels so incredibly precious.

  107. H says...

    I have a good ‘mom text’ — I was having a rough week at work, and my mom sent me the salad emoji, no explanation. I asked her why and she said it was to cheer me up. After some back and forth it came out that she thought it was a bouquet of roses! Now we send salads all the time. Spread the salad!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Omg that is so cute 🥗🥗🥗

    • Ellie says...

      I love this! My mom thought the poop emoji was chocolate ice cream for the longest time and I figured she was either clueless or trying to be funny. Finally I called her out the next time I saw her in person and we cried laughing!! The best part was buying her a birthday card with the emoji on the front with a party hat, blower, and confetti that said “Have a Crappy Birthday”…the salesgirl couldn’t believe it was for my mom!!

  108. Lacey says...

    My dad has never texted, but I can’t help but read through all the comments! Be still my heart. I have accepted my relationship with my dad -he is not very warm or affectionate, nor do we talk much unless it’s about news he wants me to know (the only times he’s called JUST to talk are related to times I have lost a job or something else big has happened, but the topic only stays on me briefly.)

    BUT I am excited for my daughter, because I know my husband will totally be one of the eye-rolling-but-awesome dads I’m reading about here. :)

    • S says...

      I feel you, but I’m also glad to read so many sweet and funny exchanges :)

  109. kristin says...

    these made me smile and remember my dad’s funny text presence. he’s just gotten into emojis and it’s hilarious to see what this indian immigrant engineer dad comes up with. also when he hand writes smiley faces he writes a colon and a close parentheses which makes me laugh every time.

    my favorite thing that my dad does when texting me is sends texts from him and my dog (because he knows how much i miss her). “hi from dad. rani also says “woof!” (i think she means hello!)” or “have you landed in LA? rani misses you.)

    the best thing about dad texts is that they’re blessedly, unconventionally, and adorably to the point. recently when i found out i didn’t pass the bar he texted me: “it is ok. you are great and so smart. don’t put pressure on yourself. you are doing fine.” which is on par with the kind of abbreviated love language south asian parents tend to have, but which was exactly the tenor and tone i needed to hear.

    • Susan says...

      He sounds so sweet!

  110. jamie says...

    Yes! I love this. My parents and grandpa are in Maine, and whenever I talk to one of them, the first three minutes (sometimes the first TEN minutes) are all about the weather, how are you handling it, are you plowing snow? Is the air conditioner on? Can you see any hummingbirds? I feel so silly when my husband overhears us because we sound like strangers. But really, these were experiences we shared when we lived together, and I love sharing them over the phone now when we live states apart.

    • Kate says...

      This is such a sweet explanation for talking about the weather with loved ones – something I often do, too!

  111. Emma says...

    My dad signs everything (letters, emails, texts, everything) with “Love, Your Dad.” It’s just so sweet! My siblings and I have taken to saying to each other, “Your Dad told me…” or “Your Dad did…”

    • Taylor says...

      My Dad did this too! Except he would often abbreviate to “yr Dad”. :)

  112. DN says...

    Lost my dad three years back to brain cancer. Read each comment here n missed him.

    • mindi says...

      I’m sorry for your loss, DN. Sending you love and light.

    • Meg says...

      I lost my dad four years ago to brain cancer. Sending you love and empathy as I have been down that road and it is horrific. I’m finding comfort and remembering all of the quirks and unconditional love my dad had, as I’m sure you reflect on as well.

    • rachel says...

      im deeply sorry for your loss… *hugs*

    • Hadley says...

      It will be five years ago this July that I lost my dad to brain cancer. I am with you in spirit.

  113. Nicole A. says...

    The last time I was at the store with my dad, I wanted to test a pink polish color but I had polish on already. I asked if I could use his clean nail, and he obliged. A couple of days later, he texts me “That is a great nail polish you chose. Every time I look at my thumb, I think of you! I love you, Sweetie!” With a million different emojis. Haha

    • LU says...

      That is adorable 😂💅

  114. Lori says...

    My dad starts every voice mail with “Hello Love, this is your dad. It’s (insert time here).” And he always gives me a weather update, even though we only live an hour apart from one another, and the weather is usually the same in both places. Also, he hasn’t eaten red meat in 30 years, but if we are ever trying to decide on a restaurant, he always says “you know, love, I don’t eat red meat”, as though this was a new piece of information. It is endearing.

    • tod says...

      this is so sweet!

  115. Katherine says...

    This post made me tear up. I don’t have a relationship with my dad, but I am so happy (and jealous) that people have these types of relationships with theirs.

    • rach says...

      im so sorry to hear that…its not too late! <3

  116. Alexandra says...

    My dad was emotionally abusive towards me throughout my childhood and to this day our relationship is quite tenuous. After reading this post I checked my phone and realized he hasn’t sent me a text since September. I loved reading everyone’s sweet comments and even though I can’t quite relate, it makes me so hopeful that someday my own kids will have lots of silly stories from their dad :)

    • Lacey says...

      I can relate! I know my husband’s dynamic with our daughter will make up for my dad’s lack thereof. These comments give me hope, even if they also stir up some bittersweet feelings.

  117. CB says...

    Reading all these comments and getting teary-eyed. I just listened to the last birthday voicemail my dad left me, he passed away six weeks later. That was in 2012 and I miss him every day.

  118. Erin says...

    My sister and I had a long-running joke that my parents’ two very, very spoiled house cats were absorbing the excess parenting energy they had after we moved out. Then, over the last year, both cats became elderly, developed serious health problems and had to be put down within a few months of each other.

    The day after the second cat passed away, I got this LONG, VERY DETAILED e-mail from my dad, worrying about whether I knew how to check the oil in my car. At first I was really puzzled — I am in my 40s and it’s ages since he’s thought he needed to check in on my car-maintenance skills — but then I realized he woke up in the morning and had nobody to parent. So I sent him a reply reassuring him that I knew what to do about the car and sending cat-related hugs.

    • rachel says...

      this is so endearing.

  119. Julia says...

    My dad really loves emoji’s, every morning he’ll send a “Good Morning” text in the family group text and add 4 kissy emojis (for me, my mom, my sister and my husband) but what really gets me is that he will always add a little dog facebecause he knows our little pup is part of the family too!

    • Lacey says...

      OMG! I can’t even handle it.

  120. Charlene says...

    My dad passed away a few years ago. We lived in different countries and he couldn’t travel to see me, so we would sometimes go two to three years without seeing each other. We would call each other a couple of times a week, and he would always end each phone call by saying “Goodbye, my beautiful daughter.” Because he died unexpectedly, those will forever be his last words to me. I’m grateful for that. It has also made me more aware of how I end conversations – what if these were my last words to this person?

    • Nic says...

      Oof, my heart.

  121. My dad is a man of few words, but he’s gotten into texting. Sometimes he’ll send sweet messages and I’ll screenshot them so I can remember the things that he’d never say out loud. A few years ago before he got an iPhone, he had a phone that would send out random text messages like #45925@@ from whatever keys it would hit in his pocket. So sometimes in our family we’ll send out nonsensical $+_!!@ instead of saying I love you.

  122. Carla says...

    Same. I can’t recall a single phone call from my dad in my 40 years of life. It is indeed a different planet. Whew.

  123. Ivy says...

    My dad prefers to talk on the phone instead of text because he has big bear paw fingers that stumble on his smart phone. I know when he wants to talk because he’ll send me a random message – “Hi honey !” (yes, he puts a space between all his punctuation. “I love you ! Have a great day !” So anyway, whenever he sends one of those messages, I try to give him a ring. We talk every day and I never tire of it!

  124. Carolyn says...

    My elderly dad doesn’t understand that when you leave a message on someone’s cell they can’t hear you while you’re doing it. The first 30 seconds or so is always him saying “Hi, it’s your dad. Are you there?. . . . Can you pick up?. . . . Guess you’re not there . . .”

  125. Katie says...

    I tend to always call my dad just to chat or say hi during work hours and no matter what, he always picks up the phone and almost always answers “hey I’m in a meeting, can I call you back?” I used to find it hilarious and a little bit frustrating too thinking “dad, you don’t have to pick up the phone just to tell me that, you can just text me that you’re in a meeting in this modern era”. It finally dawned on me that he always picks up just to make sure that I am okay.

    • r says...

      weepy. i will do the same thing when my daughter calls me as an adult!

  126. michaela says...

    Whenever my dad calls me in the evenings, we have to go through this exact sequence of conversation every time:

    Dad: “What are you up to?”
    Me: “Oh, I just [got home from work/got home from yoga/started cooking dinner/am eating dinner]”
    Dad: “Ohhhh, so late? Wow.”

    If it’s later than 6:00 pm, he sounds distraught and incredulous that I could possibly have just arrived home or have not eaten dinner yet. No matter how many times I’ve told him, “This is just my schedule! I have a long commute and sometimes I do things between leaving work and getting home! This is not late for me!” we still have to have the conversation Every. Single. Time. Now whenever my husband is cooking for me, if it’s going to be ready after 6:00 he says, “Sorry your dinner is so late.” :)

    • Yes to this!!! I swear we have the SAME exchange every. single. time.

    • LU says...

      Hahaha my dad ALWAYS does this too!

  127. Mike says...

    I think good dad’s in general are super cute because they show they really care and they have quirks that make them so human.

    I’m not close with my dad so we rarely call or text but when we talk on the phone I’ll say Hi Dad he always says “Michael, do you know who this is?” Yes, I just said “Hi, Dad” to which he always responds “This is your Fajah” like from Austin Powers. Gets annoying when I’m trying to get to the point….

    But I have a friend, she’s about 40 and her dad is 70. She, her sister, and her dad have a group text chain, he plays video games online with them like Overwatch, and they meet up pretty much every week to play board games. It’s adorable

  128. Shayna says...

    I have also been following comments throughout the day <3 It was a tender one for emotions already, and all these sweet stories are like warm honey — comforting and soothing. For all those who have lost their dads, my heart to yours. For all those who never had a relationship with or love from their dads, you are so deeply loved and believed in, though it is no question. My dad is among the very most precious people in my life. He taught me to howl at the moon when I was very young, and sometimes, his voicemails will be just one long howl. And I delight in getting an inexplicable emoji mixed into a text. He likes the shrimp or Moai and once texted me expressly to ask where it had gone to. He couldn't find it and had to send it to my sister. Love to all the loving dads.

    • rach says...

      <3

    • Kate says...

      What a beautiful comment, thank you from someone who doesn’t have a relationship with their dad <3

  129. Alex says...

    My dad recently graduated to “Poppy” at the birth of my daughter. He always called me “Bugger” growing up and now he calls me “Momma Bugger” which is so silly, but it warms my heart. Dad’s are so special.

    • rachel says...

      ok that is so adorable.

    • Genevieve says...

      Aha oh my… is “bugger” not rude in the US? 😂 if you ever holiday to the UK maybe don’t say this in public.

  130. My. Dad. LOVES. Emojis.

    My husband can always tell when I’ve been chatting with my dad, because I start using all sorts of crazy emojis myself. It’s infectious!

  131. Bananas says...

    I gave my dad our old iPad to see photos of the kids as we live a 3 hour plane ride away. I email him photos to keep him updated. He is retired and does not have a computer/cell phone. He really does not know how to use the thing, no matter how intuitive it is.

    But one thing I hesitate to correct is that: whenever he writes an email, he writes in the SUBJECT LINE. It think its cute. He usually writes: Thank you for the pictures. Or: Good pictures. Very nice. And then calls me to talk about it.

  132. AC says...

    My manager at work is my CEO’s dad and he is the daddest dad I know.
    He calls ppl “Big guy” and still wears a shirt and tie every day (we’re a creative agency and basically wear whatever we want). We go on an annual trip each year and I always send him a photo of me and the Accountant (his other charge) once we touch down. And he always responds with a dad text.
    From Barcelona:

    How is it going? Enjoying the trip? You guys are staying at the hotel where Michelle (mom) and I stayed at the last time we were there.

    From a personal vacation, after sending him a photo of my son with some vintage muscle cars:
    Great! Looks fascinating! I presume this is [your son] in front of the red 2-door Mustang. Great pic! He can show this to his kids.

  133. Laura C. says...

    My dad passed away before WhatsApp era, seven years ago. I can only imagine what enormous amount of memes he would have sent to us. Being the King of Dad Jokes that he was, I guess he would have got a block from me and my siblings at least once a week.
    Thank you Jo and readers for sharing your dads.

  134. Janel’s dad scheduling calls (with agenda’s)… cute and hilarious!

    My dad texts me random headlines every once in a while if it is related to me (in some stretch of a way). I’ve been lucky enough to travel to Indonesia twice and a few weeks back he sent me, “Horrible tsunami in Indonesia.” That was the entire text. No follow ups. No explanation. Just the headline.

  135. Justine McPartlan says...

    My dad adds “just sayin” to the end of every text he sends. Every single one.

  136. Dana says...

    One of my favorite articles in a while. My dad sends the cutest texts as well,
    always signing them, “L, D”, meaning, “Love, Daddio.” And he uses all of the heart emoticons more proficiently than anyone I know. He’s just a gem (especially over text).

  137. Nicole says...

    My dad once left me a voicemail to tell me that performers singing the Les Miserables soundtrack (which we used to listen to in the car growing up) were on public television. I could hear it in the background, perhaps because he was whispering… so as to not be rude to the singers on TV?? It was weird and hilarious and so very Dad.

  138. Lara says...

    My sister and I always add a few colored emoji hearts in reply to good night texts or sweet notes from my parents on our group chat.
    One day I overheard my dad ask my mom if in emoji language, heart color meant anything. He wanted to know what purple (our usual choice) stood for. “Is it the strongest in the scale of love?”

    Now it is, dad. <3

    • Laura C. says...

      Awww Lara so sweet!!!

    • Carla says...

      This made me cry. I miss my father.

    • Sydni Jackson says...

      Ugh!!!

  139. My dad does not use any sort of punctuation in his text and often only types one word replies, so it is absolutely the WORST method of communication for us!!!

  140. Stephanie Casassa says...

    My dad has watched Jeopardy every single night for as long as I can remember. (And yes he answers out loud always making sure to say “what is…” just like the rules demand). Now that I’m older, with a home and routine of my own, I occasionally watch Jeopardy as well and he knows it. So every night around 7:58, I’ll get a text from him that says something like “Darn it”, “Got it!”, “That was a tough one”, or “Woohoo!”. Based on his text I always know whether he got the Final Jeopardy question right. I love that he thinks to text me and love it even more when I can respond, “Woohoo, I got it too!”

    • Julie says...

      That’s so sweet! Jeopardy texts.

  141. diana k. says...

    My dad only calls me when he has an “exciting” prospect for me. Previously, he has called me to say that he’s taking me to the FDR museum in Poughkeepsie (he loves this place and I probably couldn’t find anything more boring). The most recent one was that he met a software engineer who mentioned he was hiring. He called me up to tell me that he’s setting me up with an exciting new job (I work in architecture, and have no intention of leaving the field). DADS THO.

  142. Mette says...

    My dad is a quiet guy (my mom’s the talker). We’ve lived across the world from each other for a decade (Denmark/NYC, now Warsaw/New Zealand), but one thing that always gets me is that when I visit my parents with the kids or my mom visits us, he will dutifully track our plane’s progress with a special app, and WhatsApp screenshots throughout the journey “Mom is now over Islamabad”. “You guys are tracking well – just above Wooloomoomba (or some other obscurely named Australian town). Gets me every time.

  143. Hedda says...

    My daddy always signs off with a “DC” – for Daddy Cool :)

    • Cynthia says...

      omg haha

  144. Angelina Danae says...

    My dad is extremely late to technology and catching on to most things pop culture (we left the Amish church about 15 years ago), but he’s a total goof through and through. He just saw The Room for the first time two Christmases ago and still responds to our family text group with “Oh, hi Mark!” or “I did not hit her, I did NOT,” or a personalized mash-up of the two.

  145. Beth says...

    My father-in-law texts me just “Hi” all the time, like he wants to start a texting conversation with me, but couldn’t decide on a topic. How am I supposed to respond to it?! Do I send “Hi” back? Maybe “Hello”?

    • Jessica says...

      My dad does this too! I haven’t lived in the same city as my dad for a long time so I like to think it’s just his way of saying he’s thinking of me.

  146. anja says...

    My Dad never texted me, but before his dementia got severe, he wrote letters and postcards that I will cherish forever. When he turned 80 last year, my son and I wrote 80 postcards for him, when we visit him in the home, we read them out to him sometimes. I miss him although he is here.

    • Gabrielle says...

      This tugged at my heartstrings. What lovely thing to have such letters, I hope hearing his words gives him comfort somehow. <3

  147. If I don’t pick up when my Dad calls me he always leaves me a voicemail, which is always EXACTLY the the same: “Hey sweetheart. Just checking in. Give me a call when you get a chance.” There is never any significant information that isn’t already conveyed by the act of having a missed call. But, now if I did miss a call from him and there wasn’t a voicemail….would it really be him?!

  148. Jen says...

    My parents are from Michigan and therefore, our calls always begin with the full weather report. I’m fully up to date on annual snowfall, days of rain, how many days in a row the sun has or has not appeared, the forecast for the coming weeks… For some years I found this annoying, but one day it occured to me that as my parents shared these small bits of news, I was imagining them in their garden, on their porch, imagining what driving must be like for them, worrying along with them about their snow tires and whether the plow would show up soon. It helps transport my thoughts across the miles to their day-to-day and perhaps helps me be more present for our calls.

    • Liv says...

      Jen, this is the sweetest. A lesson in mindfulness for us all!

    • Sarah says...

      SAME

    • Ashley says...

      That is so funny I’m from Wisconsin originally (now in Maryland) and I ALWAYS talk about the weather when I call home, especially in winter, because I like to hear what I’m missing out on (this winter particularly…eww) :):):)

  149. Sarah says...

    My dad isn’t a big texter, but he’ll sign his text messages “Love, Dad” about half the time. We talk about once a week on the phone, normal how-was-your-week stuff. He’s not extremely demonstrative but always tells me he loves me when we hang up. One of my favorite communication-related memories with him happened when I was in college. He left me a voicemail checking in and didn’t realize he didn’t hang up properly. So after the “hey Sarah, it’s your dad, just calling to see how you’re doing, ok, call me back” I was treated to TWO FULL MINUTES of him sweet-talking the family dog. “Who’s a handsome boy?! Who’s the best dog?” etc. That dog was clearly the favorite child!