Every holiday, every year, when my sister and I ask our dad what we can get for him, his answer is always the same: a “Life is Good” t-shirt.
He’s a “Life is Good” kinda guy. An amiable, trusting-of-strangers kinda guy. A laughs-at-his-own jokes kinda guy.
This father’s day, I’d like to thank my dad for the gajillion things he has done to make my life so good. But I’m a Don’t-Wanna-Lose-My-Readers kinda blogger, so I’ll tie this into a bigger message.
Yesterday, in this parenting bible, I read about nurturing a toddler’s self-esteem. Knowing that a parent’s words are very powerful, I want to be conscious of how I communicate with Punga, so as to “build” him, not “bruise” him.
The thing about parenting is that it’s not the heart-to-heart conversations, the birds-and-the-bees talks, the come-to-Jesus discussions that make the biggest impact on a kid. It’s the everyday language. The little things you say without even recognizing that you said them. Those words are the seed-planters.
In honor of Father’s Day, here are three things my Dad said to me as a kid, and how they have positively influenced me:
1. On Goal Attainment…
Dad made a mix-tape of “pump-up” music to play on the way to our soccer games.
He’d pop that cassette into the console of our teal Taurus Wagon, and we’d rock out to Van Halen’s “Right Now,” as Dad coached us to “Visualize! Picture yourself exploding towards the goal!”
(When it comes to soccer, my dad loves the word “explode.”)
At the time, my sister (“Suave”) and I were a little less interested in our soccer game and a little more interested in our matching hair bows.
But his message stuck. As new challenges have presented themselves, I have remembered and used Dad’s advice about visualization and exploding towards my goals.
2. On Work Ethic…
When I was in second grade, Dad had a special surprise for me one Saturday: I could help him shingle our new house!
A few hours into our project, Dad had to run to his truck to get something. This worked out conveniently for me, seeing as I wasn’t used to hard labor and all, so I took the opportunity to sit down for a few minutes.
When he came back around the corner, I knew instantly that I had done something wrong, I just wasn’t sure what it was.
“[Goose], when you go to work some day, it’s very important that you work hard even when the boss isn’t looking.”
I think I might have actually internalized this so much that, in my professional life, I have tended to work even harder when the boss isn’t looking. If that makes any sense.
3. On Social Skills…
The context of the next comment is insignificant, since I heard this advice multiple times.
“You have something to learn from everybody you meet. And everybody you meet has something to learn from you.”
I have a three-pronged love for this message: 1) It puts a positive spin on even intolerable people, 2) It is “don’t judge a book by its cover,” without the cliché, and 3) The second half of it encourages self-respect and self-confidence.
Dad wouldn’t tell me which song he had chosen for the “Father of the Bride” dance at my wedding. I heard it for the first time when I was dancing with him.
It was Paul Simon’s, “There will never be a father who loves his daughter more than I love you.”
You know I cried.
So, Dad, Happy Father’s Day! There will never be two daughters who love their father more than Suave and I love you.
But you’ll have to wait until Sunday to get your tee-shirt.
Not to rub it in or anything, but I kinda hit the jackpot more than once in the father-figure category.
A few weeks ago, I wrote this post about my husband, who is a stellar father to our son. (Happy Daddy’s Day, Love!)
The memories of my Grampa P and my Pepere B will live in my heart, and in my smiles, forever.
I also send a prayer of gratitude to my father-in-law, whom I unfortunately have never known. Grampa O, if you can hear me, thank you for all that you did to make my husband the man he is.
And, as with Mother’s Day, if Father’s Day brings you a heavy heart, I am sending you love today and hoping your weekend is a bright one.
Happy Father’s Day to you and yours,
Tell me about your dad! I’d love to hear about him!
Do you have any plans for Father’s Day?