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Cinnamon hearts? Meh! Stupid stuffed animals? Pffft! This Valentine’s Day, we at Bunchland wanted to get people to express some real sentiment. So we rounded up some talented, creative dads and asked them to write a love letter to their families.

  • (Clockwise from top  left)
  • Paul Sun-Hyung Lee is an actor.
  • Mike McPhaden is a TV writer, actor, and award-winning playwright.
  • Raoul Bhaneja is an actor and musician.
  • Moe Berg is a Canadian music icon.
  • Fabrizio Filippo is a writer, actor and producer.
  • Tim Polley is a comedian.

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Before everything, a friend of mine remarked, “Everyone’s going to fall in love with that girl.”  I kind of laughed and didn’t think much about it, and then eight months later I fell in love with her.  It could very well just be a cosmic spell, but I’ll put some money down on the fact that my wife is just a warm, vibrant person.  She makes people laugh, she remembers names, she sticks up for the little guy, she always spends more on your gift than you do on hers even though you both were locked in an agreement on one price beforehand, she cries at the parts in movies where someone overcomes something, she plays with kids, she’s a better person than when we first met and will be even better tomorrow, and, what makes me love her most is her hugs feel like a million bucks wrapped around my back.

I have a 3-year-old daughter who isn’t difficult to love.  She’s got lots of brown curls, a healthy laugh and loves to jump.  But the laugh is special.  When my mother laughs, she goes purple in the face and wheezes like an air mattress dying through the night, when my older sister laughs she snorts like a runaway hog, so when I found out I had a daughter, there was some concern she might carry this awful family torch.  I’m relieved to tell you that the cursed laughter has passed over her, hopefully landing on one of my sister’s kids.  When my daughter laughs, she starts to shake and the revolutions of her laugh get shorter and higher in pitch.  It’s the kind of laugh that resembles a balloon filling with too much air.  At some point you think, “Well, she’s going to pop, or choke on her tongue or something.”  I first discovered it by making a stuffed monkey run off with a wooden cookie, and I feel like it’s my daily responsibility to keep helping her make that wonderful sound.

Tim Polley, comedian and writer

Dear Jack,

I love being the Daddy of the most wonderful 6-year-old I’ve ever met: you! I love dancing on my bed when my radio wakes us with a song we like.  I love it when you tell me who I have to pretend to be for the day.  I love watching you learn to read, and discover how reading – even a little bit – changes the whole world for you. Most of all, I love all the jokes we make. We’re hilarious! Happy Valentines Day.

Love, Daddy

Mike McPhaden, TV writer, actor and award-winning playwright

Every morning I wake up to the sound of joyful, spiraling coos pouring out of my son’s bedroom.  They start high in his register and end in a low, sort of guttural sucking in through the throat.  Let’s call it singing.  This is the best song ever written.  I know my wife is awake when I hear her giggling at this.  And then I giggle.  That’s how I get to start my day.  Every day.

Fabrizio Filippo, actor

There are many things I love about my wife, but I will just talk about two. Firstly, you know that corny expression, “She completes me”? In my case, she really does. We are both good at different things. We are like a perfect passer/scorer combination, to use a sports analogy. Except there is no hierarchy of one of us always being the scorer and the other the passer. I am always in awe of the things she can make happen that I could never do in a million years. She has an uncanny ability to figure out the right way to do almost any task. Secondly, she would do anything for me. How many people can honestly say that about their spouse? We have an expression for the last cookie or any favorite food item that goes bad. We say it’s been Moe-and-Laura’d because each of us was leaving it for the other to eat. We put the other person first, and that’s what marriage is.

Why I love my children is a much harder thing to describe. You love them because they are your kids, so you love everything about them. Even when they are being “bad’ they are still your children and often, I can help but laugh or marvel at my daughter’s ingenuity during an episode of misbehaviour. The Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards said, “You don’t know real love until you have kids,” and he’s right. You learn to love selflessly instead of selfishly.

Moe Berg, Canadian music icon

Why I love my family: Simply put, they make me the man I’ve always wanted to be. Since I’ve met my wife (who without a doubt is the love of my life), I’ve grown in ways I never thought were possible. She brings out the best in me. Always. I’ve learned to become responsible, accountable and practical while still being able to pursue my dreams. I’ve learned it’s okay to be completely honest with myself and with her without fear of judgment. She is an incredible source of strength and support for me. She keeps me grounded and content and most of all, she keeps me laughing! I love that we’ve been blessed with two wonderful boys who also make me strive to be the best I can be. I didn’t think I could ever love anyone as much as my wife, and yet here are two perfect examples of how much love we are all capable of. They remind me each day of how wonderful it is to be a father, and how awesome a responsibility it is to do right by them. I’ve learned how to play again and rediscover old talents that have lain dormant for so long (I can draw!). Life lessons passed to them are great reminders to myself, too: play nice, share, listen and have fun. In many ways, I’m still in disbelief of how “old” I’ve become. But I love who I am today, and strive to be better each day because of my family.

Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, actor

My wife and I have known each other for almost 20 years, and I can’t imagine what my life would be like without her.  Now that we have two kids, our youngest only 10 weeks old, it amazes me that this thing we have together keeps changing and growing.  I take nothing for granted, and you have to take it one day at a time, but even a cheeseball, commercialized, Hallmark-hijacked holiday like Valentine’s Day gives me a chance to give thanks for the love I have in my life.

Raoul Bhaneja actor/musician

Share your own love letter to your family in the comments!

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