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Happy Father's Day! 6 feel-good stories about dads
Read. Laugh. Cry a little. Then go hug your dad.
Dads are the best.
Dads are the best. Thinkstock

1. Putting a gay son at ease
A father, who goes unnamed, recently overheard his closeted son talking about his plans to come out to his family. Instead of making a big deal of it, dad simply wrote his son a note that said all the right things:

Nate,
I overheard your phone conversation with Mike last night about your plans to come out to me. The only thing I need you to plan is to bring home OJ and bread after class. We are out, like you now. I've known you were gay since you were six, I've loved you since you were born. — Dad. P.S. Your mom and I think you and Mike make a cute couple. [The Advocate]

2. Teaming up with a son in need
After Rick Hoyt sustained severe brain damage during birth and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, doctors recommended the family give up any hope of him living a normal life; institutionalization was the only way. But the Hoyts paid no mind, and raised Rick like any other normal kid. Though he was restricted to a wheelchair, couldn't speak, or use his arms and legs, the boy camped, swam, skied, and attended public school — eventually going on to graduate from Boston University. Fifty-one years after that grim diagnosis, Rick not only lives in his own apartment but is also a celebrated athlete. How you might ask? With the help of his father, Dick. When Rick was in middle school, he wanted to enter a charity race to raise funds for a recently paralyzed fellow student. His father, who had never run before, offered to push him in a clunky chair. That arduous race led to a lifetime of team racing (not to mention better chairs). Using a specially engineered chair, Dick and Rick have finished more than 1,090 races, including 252 triathlons, 70 marathons, and 94 half marathons. In honor of their 31st Boston Marathon this past April, the father-son duo was honored with a bronze statue in their likeness.

3. Spider-dad
In this video, Daniel Garcia wears an adult-sized Spider-Man costume and gets his little guy, Oliver, outfitted in a mini version. The red-and-blue pair then shoot off to a trampoline park, where they seemingly take flight by bouncing around together. The costumed outing was apparently inspired by the movie Big Daddy, in which Adam Sandler dresses like a character to get his young charge to do the right thing. So when little Oliver acts out, Dad dresses as Spidey and tells the boy that if he behaves, he and his favorite superhero will get to hit the trampolines as a reward.

4. Hacker dads for gender equality
Mike Mika's old Donkey Kong game worked fine, but when Mika's 3-year-old daughter pointed out that the rescuer could be only Mario, he knew he had to get to work.

"She's played as Princess Toadstool in Super Mario Bros. 2 and naturally just assumed she could do the same in Donkey Kong. I told her we couldn't in that particular Mario game, she seemed really bummed out by that," Mike posted to YouTube. "So what else am I supposed to do? Now I'm up at midnight hacking the ROM, replacing Mario with Pauline." [Jezebel]

To his daughter's delight, Mika managed to rejigger the machine so that Mario was the plumber in distress and Pauline was his knight in pink armor.

Similarly, when Mike Hoye played the iconic game The Legend of Zelda with his daughter, he would change all the male pronouns to female. When that grew tiresome, dad hacked into the game and made a more permanent adjustment. "As you might imagine, I'm not having my daughter growing up thinking girls don't get to be the hero and rescue their little brothers," he wrote in a blog post.

5. Dancing dad
At his daughter's Bat Mitzvah, comedian Mike Hanley wasn't about to settle for your basic two-step. Sure, starting out, he and his daughter looked like any cute pair sashaying to "My Girl." But within 30 seconds, they busted out a full-on choreographed routine that spliced together five minutes worth of moves and songs, including LFMO, Lady Gaga, and the Jackson 5. Dad may not have had all the moves, but the look on his daughter's face as the crowd erupted in woos and claps is priceless.

6. Capturing the magical memories
Sure, any parent could take photos of their kid crawling, taking their first steps, or splashing around in a bath. But Swedish photographer Emil Nystrom can look back at his daughter's photo album and reminisce about the time his little one scaled the kitchen cabinets, whipped up some brownies, and oh yes, hitched a ride on the wing of an airplane. Before you call child protective services, these fantastical circumstances were created within the safety of Photoshop. (You can check them out here.) Nystrom isn't the only dad cooking up imaginative memories for his kids. Check out this creative dad, and this one too.

Father's Day bonus!
If you haven't seen the viral video yet of the most adorable Beatles cover ever, now is your chance. Dad Christian Diego Mello sat down with his young son and the pair knocked out one stellar version of "Don't Let Me Down." It is not to be missed.

Sources: The Advocate, CBS, Jezebel, Kotaku, The Stir (2), TechBlog, Today

Lauren Hansen is the multimedia editor at TheWeek.com. A graduate of Kenyon College and Northwestern University, she started her career in arts publishing and has since worked at media outlets including the BBC and Frontline.

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