First a quote: “Lately all my friends are worried they’re turning into their fathers. I’m worried I’m not.” – Dan Zevin
Happy belated Father’s Day to dads everywhere.
I hope it was a happy day for you. Regardless of your position in the family, father and/or son, daughter, or maybe grandchild, I am hoping you had a wonderful day filled with love, warmth, and maybe even a few laughs, hugs, memories, and celebrations as we continue to navigate the C-19 pandemic and racial strife across our land.
I am often uncomfortable broadcasting “best wishes” to the general population knowing we all have had a myriad of family experiences growing up, and parental relationships are all different and unique. Often, “happy occasions,” like Father’s Day, are anything but celebratory. Perhaps your dad is now deceased, and you were sad or lonely yesterday. Maybe your children live in distant places and were unable to visit, or possibly they were too busy to visit, or even call. Some children may be estranged from their fathers, others were abandoned, or even abused by their fathers.
Regardless of the story line, I know not all “happy holidays” are happy for many and some occasions are quite the opposite, painful and heart wrenching.
Whatever your personal circumstances, I hope you enjoyed a wonderful day.
The current series of commercials, created by Progressive Insurance, targeting young homeowners about “becoming their parents” do make me chuckle. The commercials are very funny, I laugh out loud at most of them! And, if I am honest, they hit way too close to home for me. Progressive may have casted me as the main character in many of those ads. I am often guilty as depicted. I will admit to “helping” plumbers do their job and I still ask my adult children for lessons on how to “do” Facebook. If it were not for my family, I would be still wearing white socks pulled all the way up to mid-calf. Embarrassing I know. Imagine being married to me or being one of my children.
Here is my connection to the quote by humorist, Dan Zevin, above. While many people worry about “becoming their parents” in a negative way as they age, I do have some concern about the opposite… not becoming more like my father. I am one of the fortunate people who was raised by a loving, caring father, and a loving caring mother in a loving marriage. My wife does occasionally, and lovingly, express concern about me adopting some of my parents less desirable characteristics i.e. saving aluminum foil and reusing Zip-Lock bags as examples.
While my father was not without his faults as a father, husband, or man, he was a wonderful role model. Being “more like him” is a worthwhile and honorable goal. Most of what I know about how to be a man, father, and husband, I learned from his example. (See the Clarence B Kelland quote below.) Following is a short list of what I learned from my dad:
- Always smile and offer a kind and encouraging word to others.
- Work harder than you are paid to work, and you will always be paid more in the end.
- Let other drivers go first at four-way stop.
- Wash and wax your car often.
- Wave at strangers, be it on a sidewalk or highway. (You should have seen me walk down Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago the first time, what a hoot!)
- Be kind. Always.
- How to tie fishing lures and “jig” for Walleye.
- Be available to your adult children, but let them make their own decisions. You may still be their dad, but you are no longer their parent. “Think consultant.”
- Save a penny for a rainy day and of course, a penny saved is a penny earned.
- Don’t make me stop this car! (I learned this one early. )
- Don’t buy on credit. If you don’t have the cash, wait until you do.
- Assume the best in others.
- Always offer a helping hand.
- Love God.
- Love your spouse even when they act in unlovable ways.
- To have friends, you must be a friend first. Be friendly always.
- Don’t yell or raise your voice when angry.
- Do your best, that is all I ask!If a “D-” on an algebra exam was your best, that is OK if it was your best.
I am proud of my dad and so honored to call him my father. While not perfect, you taught me well through your life and example. I love you Dad. Happy belated Father’s Day!
How will you live, or lead, differently or better this week?
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- “My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person: He believed in me.” – Jim Valvano
- “What you teach your children, you also teach their children.” – Unknown
- “My father didn’t tell me how to live. He lived and let me watch him do it.” – Clarence Budington Kelland
- “By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he’s wrong.” – Charles Wadsworth
- “A father is someone you look up to no matter how tall you grow.” – Unknown
- “When you’re young, you think your dad is Superman. Then you grow up, and you realize he’s just a regular guy who wears a cape.” – Dave Attell
- “I realized being a father is the greatest job I have ever had and the greatest job I will ever have.” – Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
- “The older I get, the smarter my father seems to get.” – Tim Russert
- “Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad.” – Anne Geddes
- “A daughter needs a dad to be the standard against which she will judge all men.” – Gregory E. Lang
- “Being a great father is like shaving. No matter how good you shaved today, you have to do it again tomorrow.” – Reed Markham