Things My Father Taught Me

I could have gone in a few different directions with a post for Father’s Day.  There are several men in my life who are amazing fathers and deserve the recognition.  I even had a comical ‘How To’ idea rolling around in my head.

But the truth is, even though he’s no longer with us, MY dad is the one I’m thinking about.

He would never have won a trophy for father of the year.  Our relationship was…’complicated’, for lack of a better word.  When I was a kid, he was my hero, just like most dads are to their children.

And then he wasn’t.

As an adult, I viewed my father as the man who taught me ‘what not to do’ in life.  For a long time, I lived my life with his downhill fall hanging over my head, making decisions based on the things he chose.  I never wanted to be like him, refused to bring the same shame to myself.

Things are changing again.  No, he wasn’t always the best dad, but he did teach me some valuable life lessons.  Now that someone else is trusting me with her future, I can finally appreciate what I once rejected.  And hopefully I can pass his wisdom down to my Ava.

I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren’t trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom. ~Umberto Eco

  • Take some risks.  Go out for the team, watch the scary movies, trick-or-treat in the dark(except no, not that one).  Don’t be afraid to take that leap of faith, and I promise your jelly shoes won’t fall off while you’re on the back of Daddy’s motorcycle(if he had one).
  • Never let your vices control you.  They are vices for good reason…enjoy in moderation(we’ll discuss them first), and always know when to quit.
  • Love yourself.  There will come a day when you will have no one to turn to.  Know what motivates you, what moves you, what makes you a better(and worse)you.  If you love yourself, you will fly.
  • Love others.  And make sure they know just how much.  You can never be certain who is waiting to hear it from you, so be open with your heart.
  • LIVE.  This life is much too short to hide indoors, to turn down opportunities, to suffer with unhappiness.  You are worth more than you will ever know.  You will make a difference in someone else’s world.  Use the good china, climb a mountain, run as fast and as far as you possibly can.  There is no telling when you will make your final choice.  Make it a good one.

To all the dads out there, stumbling through fatherhood, wondering if you’re doing it right: you are.

Even when you’re not.

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