My dad has been a huge influence on who I have become. In honor of Father's Day, I'd like to share a few ideas my dad ingrained into my being. For those of you who may know me, you will begin to understand just why I am like this.
As per my CDO, these are ordered by importance, as my father probably sees it.
What to Know About Sports (and the Life-Connection Therein)
1. Your coach is wrong. Your dad is right. You will probably not be with any one coach more than a few years, but your dad is blood. You are with him for life. The bottom line is respect. Give both what they deserve. And don't pit them against each other. But remember, being dropped from the line up is not as bad being dropped from your dad's view of respect.
2. Be friendly to the ump. My dad was an umpire and he knew how many more , um "negative comments" they can get than positive. But beyond that, he was always the type of guy to encourage those who needed it. I recently played in a game where there was a close call at first. I could see the result better from my position at second than the ump could behind the plate. He made the right call, and after the inning I went in and told him. He just looked at me in shock and said, "No one's ever told me that before." I bet he went home feeling better about the game than usual.
3. Don't just try to hit the ball where they aren't. Hit it deep to left, because that's what good right-handers do. In other words, work at being good, not trying to find a way to get an edge.
4. Practice without excuse anytime you possibly can. I had to swing the bat 20 times a day. When I didn't, I knew it. It showed in my performance. I liked performing well, so I would continue to work through the off-season too. If I needed someone to practice with, Dad was always there. When I played field hockey, he would run drills with me with a broom, since he didn't have a stick. (Gave new meaning to the "sweeper" position.)
5. If you don't run, you are not healthy. Running is cheap, and always available. (See "no excuses" above.) But it also works your body hard enough to feel it. I think Dad hated running. I did too. But he did it. And so did I. We're both still alive.
6. Sports on TV (or the radio) doesn't really count as watching TV. The TV was ALWAYS on in our house, but it was usually on baseball or football. Sometimes someone would be watching, and sometimes everyone would be tuned out. But there was never any concern that something inappropriate would be said or shown, just hope that we might look up to see Pete Rose's 3000th hit or something.
What to Know About School
1. It doesn't matter what grades your parents got, get A's or else. Sound too strict? No. Because I could get A's and he knew it.
2. Don't choose a college for prestige, Choose the one that will give you the best education. I was accepted to lots of (expensive) good schools, but it was more important for me to go to a state school because they had better teaching programs.
What to Know About Parenting
1. If your daughter wants ice cream, it makes a good excuse to go out and get some. Goes without saying. There is a place in this world to use your children. Then I learned...
1b. Buster Bars are great!
2. Be there to listen. My poor dad. He only has one daughter, but I think I made up for more than my share when it came to talking. I talked because he listened and didn't tell me "That's enough now." And so he felt secure knowing that he knew everything about my life.
3. Be ready to instruct. Nothing was more interesting to me than things my dad thought were interesting. I love how he tries to put into my head everything he knows about certain topics, mostly history. (He still does this on occasion.) I think he really wanted me to be a teacher because HE really wanted to be a teacher. Now, when my kids ask me a question about something I have a vast knowledge of, I can't wait to tell them, and think of my dad.
4. Be there to play. Mom had too much to do to play with us much. As a mom now, I understand that. And so I also understand how much a father sacrifices to play with his kids. Even now, I don't think he would ever hesitate to make anything into a game with me.
What to Know About Driving
1. Drive defensively. If everyone watched out for the other guy, maybe there would be fewer accidents.
2. Don't lock your keys in the car 11 times, but have AAA anyway. Yes, locking my keys in the car was a major problem for me. I actually had a solution back then to put a magnet key under the wheel hood. (Thankfully I don't need to do that anymore). Dad just got really tired of this one, and triple AAA got to know me pretty well.
3. Know how to change a tire, even if you are girl. Another thought along the line of "you never know." I took that even further to learn other "man" jobs, like pumping gas and taking out the trash, then fixing toilets and installing light fixtures. Dads just don't trust anyone else when it comes to their daughters, but beyond that, it's nice to have some skills and be useful.
4. Never let the gas tank go below a quarter tank. Along with that, check your oil and always go in for routine maintenance. I come from a long line of "play it safers." My fear of procrastination is one thing I am enormously thankful for, as it has saved me plenty of worry.
One last thing he taught me that doesn't fit anywhere is:
If you're not 10 minutes early, you're late. What has this done for me? Given me a good reputation. Gotten work done on time. Made me a leader.
It's all just the tip of the iceberg. But I'm glad for what was passed on to me. I would encourage you to stop and think about what you owe to your
Passion Under Grace,