This is a repost from a Tumblr series that I called “My perfect dad.” I’m preserving these older stories and continuing to write new ones available on this site first.

First, you made me your flannel dad. The noise and buzz of the city got to be too much for me. I sold my condo and moved out into the country and got a job doing inventory at the truck stop to earn us some extra cash. When I’d come home after a long night shift, you’d call me into the bedroom and make me strip out of my work clothes. 

With my hands behind my head, back straight, chest out, and chin forward, I stood in silence while you inspected my body. You told me how fit I was getting, how the physical work was better for me than sitting behind a desk in a faceless corporate skyscraper. I believed you. I still do. 

After you finished inspecting my body, you threw a flannel shirt across the room. I didn’t catch it the first few times, but you taught your old man how to play ball, and I was catching anything you threw to me one handed before too long. Just your good ole country dad. 

Then you made me your denim dad. I started seeing jokes and puns and wordplay everywhere, and each one was funnier than the last. I loved coming home from my job at the truck stop and telling you the latest jokes I heard. I didn’t always get them right, but you laughed anyway, Son. That meant a lot to me, especially since I don’t see my friends back in the city anymore. 

I taught myself how to barbecue and we started inviting the neighbors over. Well, “neighbors” who lived a mile up the dirt road, but they’re nice people and I love that they appreciate the work I’ve been doing on the house. I’ve been getting pretty handy out in the workshop, Son. I was thinking we might start making custom wood furniture and selling it, but I’d need your help with that because I just don’t have a head for numbers. 

Now I’m your leather dad. Stern and strict when you want me to be, but at the snap of your fingers I’m just as dutiful and obedient as I always was. The first time I barked your name—I only ever called you Son before—and told you to crawl over and lick my boots, I’ll admit I was nervous. It didn’t at all seem like the way a good dad should talk to his Son. But you encouraged me, Son, and cultivated the façade of dominance that made me look like a Master or a Sir. It was hot, but we both know it was just role play. The minute you want it to stop, Son, it stops, and I go from being your “Sir” to being your submissive leather dad once again. 

I love all the dads I get to be for You, Son. I can’t wait to see what You make me into next. 

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