As a grandparent, my dad has taught me to watch out for the stash of treats he and the kids bring home from 7-11, and that a slurpee might not just be a simple slurpee, but that it could be laced with "Full Throttle" keeping my kids up until past midnight. He's been the balance of "The Cartoon Channel" to my very mellow PBS Kids Good Night Show that I still think my 9 year old should be in to. He's the guy who let's them hang out of the sunroof of his car on rides around the neighborhood, right after I yell from the front porch "put your seat belts on!".
As my dad, he's taught me to expect great things. Not by telling me all of the time that I was destined for greatness, but by making me feel like I am smart, talented and capable of great things. Here are some of the things my dad has taught me:
A Love of Sports
Growing up I played lots of sports and I credit my dad for fostering a love of sports and athleticism in me.
I credit a fair amount of my own humor (for good or for bad to my dad) and the bantering that I've been engaged in for much of my life. Currently, it revolves around jokes about his addiction to chain saws and his need to cut down an oak tree in my yard. Humor is a great gift to give a child and is a big part of how I approach the trickier situations in life.
An Aversion to Gambling
Along with my love of sports came a little overconfidence with how good I thought I was. One summer evening my dad and I played round after round of HORSE. I was confidant that I would win. It started with a small monetary bet (which I expected a great return on), and moved on to me betting my gumball machine, and just about everything else in my room after continual defeat.
Needless to say, gambling never tempted me much after that.
Make it Work
My dad has been an entrepreneur for most of his life. He's got an endurance level that is amazing and a mind determined to make it work. I clearly remember my mom saying to me in high school "There may be ups and downs being self employed, but I always know that no matter what happens that your dad can find a way to make it work." The assurance that might come with a cozy desk job with plush benefits was replaced by the assurance that he was not dependent on anyone else to make his way.
A Sense of Doing Right
I've had people I meet stop me and say "You need to know that your dad _______ " (fill in the blank with some good deed my dad had done for someone, or how he had helped someone, or gone the extra mile to make something right). He can be fairly unspoken (which is an understatement), but his deeds reflect an ethic of "work hard and be fair".
You know those books about "Love Languages"? I'm pretty sure my dad's language would be time, often times, time + candy. I'd go on bike rides, car rides to job sites, and on my own 7-11 excursions with my dad growing up. My haul was usually some Hubba Bubba, Big League Chew, or Bonkers - remember those? As adults, we sometimes call that being "dad-jacked". You end up in his car and all of the sudden you are walking through a construction site, usually with treats.
No matter how much I lament my kids growing up, there's always grand-kids. I know I'm about 20 years out, but I know my dad is only half kidding when he says "This is why I had you!"
What have you learned from your dad? Head on over to the P&G "Thank you, Mom" Facebook page to share what makes your dad so special, or your favorite piece of advise that he's passed along!
This post is sponsored by P&G's Thank You Mom (& Dad!) Campaign - celebrating Dad's this Father's Day. P&G is proud to support Olympic athletes and their families this year at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Check them out!
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