Saturday, June 15, 2013

I was going to say that I'm one of the lucky ones in that I only have one dad. But then I got thinking of all the families that have a dad, a step-dad or a grandfather, uncle or friend filling in as a dad. Maybe they're the lucky ones because they have more than one dad. However many dads you have, you have to admit they hold a special place in your heart.
My dad is going to be 87 in August. He quit school before the 8th grade, went on to become a mechanic and owned his own gas station. He married my mom, moved to a farm and raised 10 children. He has a quick wit and a slow temper which when we were kids knew meant business! He has had many medical issues which have slowed him down physically but mentally he is still very sharp.
Growing up I don't remember my dad ever telling me he loved me although I always felt he did. After I was older and visiting my parents I saw he was cleaning out some papers. He was holding something written on notebook paper. I was surprised to find that he had kept an essay I had written in high school about what I wanted to do with my life. The essay was about me becoming a teacher (which I did). He told me he was proud of me for achieving that goal. That was extremely touching for me and showed a different side of my dad.
Thinking back on growing up with my dad many life lessons come to mind. Here are a few of them.
A strong worth ethic. That everything you want is yours to earn, not yours to be given.
What a true father looks like.  His sense of compassion, thoughtfulness, humor, and humility are a great example to all of us.

Teach your kids through your actions and model the good qualities you want to see in them. 

 That attitude is everything – always try to look for the positives in a situation.
Manyof the lessons were implicit - learned by example, rather than explicitly through words. For better or for worse, I think that's really what parenting is. It what I hoped to do with my own children and grandchildren.
My dad holds a special place in my heart. Since I'm the oldest I remember being pretty small and spending time with just him and me. When we moved to the farm I helped drive the tractor for him while he piled hay bales on the wagon. I enjoyed his jokes and stories as our family ate meals together. When we went to wedding or shower dances he always asked me to dance with him. These are some memories that will always stay with me.
So...Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there....first and foremost, my own! Thanks for living a life worthy of imitation. Love you, Dad!
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