What I Remember Most About My Father When I Was Growing Up

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

My dad has been in the hospital for the last five weeks. I saw him a month and a half ago and knew his health wasn’t good. It got me thinking about what kind of things he did for me that I want to do for my daughter when she’s born next month. I don’t know if he read books about being a father before my brother and I were born. Even if he didn’t read about being a father, he got a major thing right that every new book about the topic emphasizes today.

I didn’t have any part of my life where my dad wasn’t involved. He wasn’t a dad who went to work, cracked a couple of beers, and called it a day. He would pick me up every day from school, made sure I memorized my math flashcards, coached my football games in junior high, helped me with homework, delivered newspapers with me on rainy days, taught me to drive, and drove me around to colleges I wanted to attend. I’ll never forget the good times we had playing golf together.

He gave great life advice that I still need to listen to today. Patience is not a virtue of mine. I have to remind myself and be ok with that it could be years before this newsletter becomes popular or opens doors. My brother and I went to the same high school and he told us to get involved in any way we could. Neither of us would get mistaken for extroverts and that’s probably why I enjoy writing. Everyone needs a network and connections for success and that’s what he was trying to tell us.

It was important for him to balance work and family time. He probably was the beginning of what we think of as the modern dad. His work schedule let him get home early so he could make sure we all sat together as a family at the dinner table and he did a lot of the cooking since my mom usually worked later. He never went out drinking with his buddies at night. It was more important for him to take care of his family than anything else.

When my daughter is a grown-up, I hope one of the positive ways she remembers me is the time we spent together and how I was her biggest supporter. It was incredible how much time my dad set aside for us when he could have done other things he wanted instead. I never got the impression he wanted to do something else when he was with me. If you have memories like this of your dad, thank him if can because you won’t always have the chance.

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