You're father enjoys your time together when you laugh and watch South Park. He relies on you to keep him updated on his reclusive son, his social wife, the improvement in training his dogs, the grades you're making in school.
Even though he listens to you rarely and feigns interest even less, you know that once in a blue moon you'll hook him into an hour long conversation about nothing. You teach him to be social while he teaches you to mellow out and relax.
There are times you want to hate your father. But despite his flaws, you realize he's always there for you when you need him. He may not listen to your idle ramblings, but he's proud of you, and devotes his life to your well being.
He's there for you in the waiting room while you get surgery. Before you go under, your eyes brim with tears, but he sits with you like a protective shield, relaxing your nerves with his calm, silent presence. He's there when you wake up, getting you warm blankets, ready to drive you home to watch over you like a hawk.
He watches you while you get ready for prom, gossiping with your mother, doing your hair. The dress you wear makes him dead silent, and his lips press into a thin line. You brace yourself for a lack of compliment. His description is “whore,” but you don't argue. You know in his mind that you're still his baby girl, and he can't bear the idea of boys staring at your body with lust in their eyes and ill intent on their minds.
Despite his flaws, you stick around to keep him young and sane. You giggle together like children when watching South Park, and use toilet humor at the table that drives your mother insane. You walk his dogs when he's tired. When a Green Bay Packers game is on, you voluntarily turn to that channel and abandon your possession of the television.
Your father steps up to the plate and acts his age when he needs to, and you can't. When your mother falls and cuts open her arm, he's the organized conductor giving out directions. He points to your mother and tells her to sit. He points to your brother and tells him to get towels. He goes to the phone, dials 911, and multitasks with a straight face. He sees you, eyes wide, face red, tears streaming down your cheeks. He tells you to “stop crying” and wait for the paramedics outside to flag them down.
Though you may not always agree, you'll always respect each other. He doesn't understand your passions, but he still pays for any major you want to study in college. When you quote Shakespeare, he smiles and nods politely, then turns back to his work less-than-subtly. When he comes to tell you stories of his passions and experiences, you'll listen with uninterrupted attention. He tells you that everything in his life, he got from nothing. He earned his place in life, and he inspires you to do the same.
There are times that he needs you more than he knows. When his parents pass away, you know that he doesn't want your sympathy, nor your hug. You know that he grieves in private, and like a stereotypical man, would rather not show his emotions publicly. With respectful understanding, you'll offer him freshly brewed decaff, a Sudoku puzzle, and a simple, loving statement, “Goodnight.” You take the dogs to the park and take pictures of puppies to show him. You cook him his favorite dinner. You buy him a random, over-priced kitchen gadget from Crate & Barrel. Neither of you will say anything, but you both know what you're doing for him.
Even though you think he knows everything because of his uncanny ability to answer Jeopardy questions, you know he isn't perfect, but you'll never tell him that. To you, the person who knows him like no one else, he's perfect enough. When he makes a mistake, you see through it to his good intentions. To you, the perfect person isn't someone who never messes up, but rather someone who tries to live their life doing the right thing to the best of their abilities. Your father is perfect, no matter what anyone else thinks.
One day when someone sees you as their Batman, you'll still be there to support your father. He'll be too old to golf, but he'll still be as strong to you as the man who threatened to kill your first boyfriend. You'll always see yourself as his Robin, and you'll dedicate yourself to taking care of him and your mother, and anyone else that comes along. You're proud of all the mannerisms you've accumulated from him. When someone tells you that you have a good heart, you'll tell them you got it from your father.
This piece from 2012 inspired by my father ended up being way more sentimental than I intended it to. The prompt said to use a 2nd person narrative to tell a short story starting with the line "You are your father's sidekick: the Robin to his Batman," which somehow ended up like this. I admit that this isn't really a short story. However, I love how it turned out and it remains a sweet sentiment that my parents and I both enjoy reading from time to time.