As I sit here on Fathers Day I am about to go enjoy a nice long bike ride with my daughter Jenni – a good way to spend some time and catch up on what is happening for both of us. As your children grow up and move on to their own lives it is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day “stuff” and not stay as connected, so days like this make for a great reason to get together.
It is also a good time to reflect back on all that my own Dad has done for me over the years. Perhaps the biggest role that parents play in our development is to help nurture and prepare us for our own independent lives – to provide a value system, make sure that we receive a good education, help us to interact with others and to be responsible. Of course there is no guarantee that even with this guidance and support we will become successful on our own, but more often than not this is a definite precursor.
As for myself, I am quite thankful that my Dad was a strong role model and inspiration to all of us. He was hard-working, successful and encouraged us to take responsibility for our future. His work ethic was pretty strong, which I am sure likewise came from his father as well. As a High School PE teacher, my dad also was a coach for both football and wrestling, taught a continuing education class in the evenings for many years, and either took classes in the summer or worked an additional job – sometimes both. There is no doubt that this commitment to earning a living and advancing his skills were a strong influence on all of us kids, as each of us are probably the quintessential workaholic. At the same time though, each of us are successful in our own careers and lead responsible lives.
I have heard many times that we all become our parents over time – and while we may laugh about this at times, it is true to a great extent. At least for those of us whose parents were a strong influence upon them and took time to be part of their children’s lives. A few years ago my father took the time to write a book about his life. Within this biography he shared many of his experiences from growing up, going to college, serving in the army in Korea, his teaching career and beyond. It really provided great insight as to what his life experience was all about. It shared information and stories that I was not aware of previously and will provide great perspective of who he was for generations to come. I suspect at some point I may also take the time to write about my life as well.
So on this Father’s Day I want to take the time to say thanks Dad, for all you have done for me over the years!
What about you – what have you learned from your Dad?