This past weekend had us all thinking about the men in our lives. In honor of Father's Day, I want to share some of the best lessons my dad ever taught me.
I hope it gets you thinking about your own father figure, and how he positively influenced you.
1. Girls + Sports = Confidence
As a kid, my dad was our baseball coach. I was always that ONE girl on a team of all boys. He would call me up at the beginning of the season and introduce me to the team.
"This," he would say "is a girl." Everyone would laugh. "She is just as capable as any of you. Maybe even better than you. We don't treat her any differently. She is a part of our team." And just like that, I was "in".
He always made me feel special and capable. Because of it, I've always believed I could do anything the boys could. And because of my love of sports and comfort being in my body, I've never had body image issues or eating problems.
Here's to girls in sports!
2. Importance of Male Caretakers for Kids
After the birth of each my first two kiddos, my husband traveled quite a lot. It was hard on both of us. Because I was the caretaker for our kids, I didn't have a lot of hired help to give me a breather when I desperately needed it.
But my dad stepped in in a major way. People always associate women with being incredible care givers. My dad watched our children regularly, and encouraged me to just get outside on the trails.
When I felt guilty that he was helping me so much, he would say: "I'll spend time with them now, because soon enough, they'll want to be with their friends more than with us. And that's as it should be. But I'll take what time I can get now."
I appreciate his perspective, and all the years of regular golf lessons, gymnastics classes, bagel dates, reading books, field trips, grandpa "circuit training," showing up to games and concerts, and QT with our baby-whisperer.
3. Real Presence:
It is easy, in our technological times, to normalize the distracted use of our phones. I'm guilty of it all the dang time.
My kids ask me for something. "Hang on one sec," they've heard me say a million times while I finish what I'm doing on my computer or phone.
My dad does not have an iPhone. And I am always amazed at the different kind of relationship he has with my kids as a result of it.
He talks to them about the planets, and asks them about how I am doing. He shares stories of growing up in New England, and inquires about their friends, favorite sports teams, and animals. He tells him what he read in National Geographic, and shares stats about hockey.
It is such a genuine sense of connected presence. It reminds me to leave my phone in the other room when in the presence of people I care about.
4. Be a Rebel
Because of my dad, I have always been a rebel. Always question authority, convention, and status quo was a message I grew up on.
My dad is where my sense of humor comes from, as one way to handle challenging dictatorial conventions is with humor. When things are difficult, I know I'm over it when I can make a joke about it.
Being a rebel keeps my sense of creativity alive. There is always another way, another angle, another approach. There is never just one way.
Music was my first way to rebel, and my dad welcomed it. He hated my rap music, but let me listen to it anyway. Rock and roll did for him what rap does for me. He owned a record store in his younger years, and knew that music choice was just another way of self-expression.
I can't help but to be a rebel. And for this, I am so dang thankful.
Hope you thought of a man who changed your life this past weekend. If not, do it now!
Happy belated Father's Day.
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