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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Lessons From Dear Ol' Dad

Sunday, June 20th, was Father’s Day in the US, Canada and UK, a day to celebrate our fathers. In honor of this day, I want to talk about my dad. He's an energetic, happy-go-lucky, goofy baby boomer, and I wouldn't have him be different in any way. I'm very much like my dad, only dialed down a few notches. I also inherited his curls, a dimple and duck feet. But probably most importantly, I've inherited the benefit of his knowledge throughout the course of my life.

I think a dad’s role is to teach their children, although not all the lessons are serious. We must have some fun in life, after all. Some of the best advice I received regarding work was, “When The Man starts swinging his sword, stay low”. (The Man. LOL. I did mention he was a child of the sixties. And he is The Man.) Not long after my dad doled out this advice, which I heeded, my employer terminated a string of employees who didn't know to duck, so he knew what he was saying.

His funniest advice had to do with my writing career. “You have to keep writing different things to be a writer. If you keep writing the same stories, people won’t like that.” I told him I have many ideas and reassured him that, yes, I do write them all down in a notebook.

Of course, I’ve learned just as much from how he has chosen to play throughout the years as by what he has said. Here are some of my favorite lessons:

(1) Little kids are easy to fool into retrieving things for you. If they tell you to get it yourself, just tell them, “I can’t. I have a bone in my leg.” Works every time.

(2) It is perfectly acceptable to howl at the moon when you’re at the lake as long as you’re having fun.

(3) Burping should really be an Olympic sport.

(4) One can master the skill of referring to oneself in the third person throughout an entire conversation. Even Samantha Grace can do it if she really concentrates.

(5) “Are we having fun yet?” is an appropriate conversation filler for any occasion.

(6) Aging is unavoidable, but growing up is optional.

(7) Think for yourself!

(8) Life is meant to be lived to the fullest, so seize the day.

What lessons have you learned from your dad?


  1. Sounds like your dad taught you some valuable lessons. Some I learned from my dad? Always sing at the dinner table, even if Mom says otherwise. Dr. Seuss was a literary genius. And one that he passed down from HIS dad: Dessert is the most important part of every meal (particularly if it is ice cream); eat it first, since you never know what will happen.

  2. LOL great advice all of it! I am so much like my dad it's scary. But I have to say he is the smartest man in the world. Okay, okay we all think that about our dad's...but mine really is. =P lol. My dad gave me a piece of advice I didn't heed until it was too late. Now looking back I wished I had listened. He told me "Driving a car is like a loaded gun." Well I got into a very serious wreck when I was seventeen and learned how true that was the hard way.
    You can bet I listen to every piece of advice I get from him now. Dad's sometimes know what's best for us even when we don't think they know anything at all. Great post Samatha!

  3. If you see a bathroom, use it. And, hard work always wins, hands down.

  4. What great advice you've all received from your dads. especially love singing at the table and using a bathroom if you see it. Priceless! :)

  5. The best lesson my dad taught me was to keep an optimistic attitude and never give up on love.

  6. Aw, what a great post, Samantha!

    My dad is awesome. We've always gotten along great, and he's certainly taught me a lot. I think one of the best gifts he gave me was a sense of humor and the ability to laugh at myself. After my dance recitals he would always say things like, "Jerrica, you were the only one doing the right moves up there." LOL! And he has some great sayings like "You spend the first year of your kid's life teaching them to walk and talk and the rest of your life trying to get them to sit down and shut up." LOL!

    He also gave me a great attitude about money. I remember well when he invested in the dot com era with a small amount of money, accrued almost a hundred times the investment and then lost 90% of it. "I've still got way more than I started with," was his response. Talk about seeing the glass as half full :)

  7. Julie,
    What valuable lessons from your dad, never give up on love. :)

    I love your stories about your dad. And what a fantastic attitude! You definitely inherited that from him.

  8. Great post, Samantha! All those little things our dads teach us are so invaluable. Without my dad (and it sounds like yours too), life would have been a whole lot less interesting ;)