The story is told of a Father who was asked by a friend, who is in charge at his home? He answered, “Well, my wife bosses the children. My children boss the dog and cat, and I can say anything I want to the geraniums.
Last year my wife woke me up with a cheery Happy Father’s Day greeting. She excitedly stated, “You can do whatever you want today!” I said, “You mean it?” and she said with a big grin, “Yup”. I committed my first error of the day when I foolishly surmised that her statement meant, I could do whatever I wanted.
I got up and ate breakfast, went back to bed, woke up and watched the ball game, took a nap, then got up for supper. My wife at this point couldn’t contain her disappointment. Sitting across from me she said with great flair, “You did absolutely nothing today!” I smiled and said, “I know, isn’t it great?” The Vulcan death stare prompted me to guess that from now on, I’ll have to ask her what “I” want to do on “MY” day next year. Well, it’s next year now so I’m already psyching myself up to clean the garage today. I have some advice for new husband’s; It’s only Father’s Day when Mother’s happy.
As I reflect on today’s holiday, I am reminded of my own dad. He should have been a cowboy, he would have made the perfect one. Hardworking, honest, fearless, yet sensitive when he needed to be. He taught me that to be a successful father, husband, or friend, you must do five things everyday.
The first thing in being the best Father is to always give those you love a meaningful touch. Over my bed on the wall rests a painted sign my sister gave my wife and me that simply states, “Always kiss me goodnight.” It’s a reminder to never take my wife’s love for granted. No matter the time of day, I never pass up the opportunity to hug, hold, or offer an affirmative pat on the back to those I care about and love.
The second thing in being the best father is always offer a word of encouragement. As he has gotten older, my father has learned anew the importance of saying words like; I’m proud of you, I love you, I sure enjoy your company. When you offer words of affirmation and encouragement, people will grow closer.
The third thing in being a good father is placing a high value on those you care about. Never one to mince words, my dad always showed his children who and what was most important to him.
The fourth thing my dad taught me about being a good dad is share your optimism of being a child of God. My dad has always instilled in me the desire to always look up.
And lastly, my father taught me to never go a day without laughter.
A few years ago when our family dog developed a hideous habit of swatting down wasps and eating them, I asked my dad for advice. With a dry wit he responded, “John, I think it has a B (bee) deficiency.” On a day when I need a laugh, that quip still comes to mind and it still makes me laugh all over again.
I love you Dad, Happy Father’s Day.