10 Things I Have Learned from my Dad…

Written by Dawn.

“Father” is defined as:

  1. a male parent.
  2. a father-in-law, stepfather, or adoptive father.
  3. any male ancestor, esp. the founder of a race, family, or line; progenitor.
  4. a man who exercises paternal care over other persons; paternal protector or provider
  5. a person who has originated or established something
  6. a precursor, prototype, or early form
  7. one of the leading men in a city, town, etc.

“father.” Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 26 Jun. 2010. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/father>.

 

However, we all know a father is so much more. The father I have been blessed to call mine could be described as some of the following:

  1. Protector
  2. Story-teller
  3. Moral Compass
  4. Firm but Kind
  5. Proud of his family
  6. Family Man
  7. Playful
  8. Loyal
  9. Generous

I am so excited that today is the day I have the honor of sharing my Dad with you all. The person I have tried to be so much alike…including having the exact same career path. My dad…or Daddio…is one of the best men I know. And when I was thinking back to him and how fortunate I was to grow up under this guidance, I thought of the 10 things I have learned from him (in full disclosure, my mom also had a hand in several of these). I am so thankful that I am fortunate to call him MY “Dad” (or “Daddio”).

Can you tell I am usually behind the camera instead of in front of it? :)

While he has taught me many things…the following are the 10 that have shaped my life the most…

  1. Sports. All kinds of sports…baseball, basketball, golf…etc. Dad is a sports guy. And, as a result, I grew up being a sports girl. A tomboy probably. And dad was my favorite kind of sports parent…he coached varsity basketball for several years so he definitely knows the ins and outs of the sport so when I played basketball he had every opportunity to be overbearing. But he never was. He supported and positively pushed but he was never overly negative and never put any unnecessary pressure on me. I try to emulate him even with Jackson in sports at such a young age. He has truly been a role model in this regard.
  2. How to pack a car. Okay, this one amazes Brandon and I…and definitely aided in keeping our marriage date intact :). When we moved to Kentucky we packed our UHaul extremely poorly and, well, lets just say we had one of our more knock down drag out screaming matches spirited “conversations” about all of this. Dad came and moved things around, Brandon and I made up and we then made it safely down to Kentucky. Who knows where we would be if he had not of stepped in :). In all seriousness, he is an absolute whiz at packing the car. We watch as he turns his little trunks into clown cars…this man knows how to find every nook and cranny :). Brandon and I compete to try and pack like dad does :).
  3. The value of hard work. Dad is one that does not take shortcuts. He does it the right way the first time. That is not always the easiest or most convenient way but it is the most efficient and effective way in the long run.
  4. Supporting your loved one…even if you do not always agree with them. My dad is always the last one I want to tell when I have an idea that is slightly far fetched and maybe not in the realm of reality. This is because I know he has such a good head on his shoulders that it if I am nervous to discuss it with him then it is probably not the best idea. I guess he is the measuring stick for my conscious. But I should know better. Dad will be honest regarding his opinion of my idea or thought but he will also be my biggest supporter if I ignore his wise words and proceed with my idea. He is like this with everyone really. He wants us to know his opinion but he will also support us if we disregard that. The majority of the time I will defer to his opinion but it is nice to know that if I do not I will still have Dad’s full support.
  5. The importance of paying for your child’s college education. I truly wish that this lesson extended to post-graduate school, specifically law school, but what a gift it was to leave undergrad with no debt as I started out my way in the world. Brandon was also so fortunate. Of course, we got hit pretty hard later with law school BUT I only hope we can do as much for our boys as was done for us.
  6. To stay within your means and budget wisely. Okay, so this one I have not mastered yet unfortunately. See #5 for an explanation as to why that is :). BUT the foundation of understanding is there.
  7. To not complain if there is no way to change something. This might be one of my favorite things about my dad. Many times there are things that do not go my exact way and I could complain about it and make everyone around me miserable. But my dad has always taught me by his actions more than his words that there is no reason to complain about something you cannot change. If there is nothing that can be done about it then just to deal with it the best you can and move on. This does not mean to roll over and allow yourself to be manipulated but just to not make yourself miserable if you do not need to be. You know, that whole attitude is everything mantra. If dad is sick or if he dislikes his dinner or he barely slept the night before because of some issue…the list could go on and on…there is very rarely a word of complaint. And for this, I so admire my dad.
  8. To have date nights. Even though Mom and Dad have been married now for well over 30 years they still do date nights…Thursday nights to be exact. They do not even necessarily do anything fancy…a lot of times just picking up take out and going out to the local reservoir where they sit at a picnic table and eat and talk. Even without us in the house, so they have lots of down time without interruption, they take time out to spend time together away from the responsibilities of work and home. On my life list I decided to follow suit and do a monthly date night with Brandon. While we are unable to do it every week, every month has even been a wonderful way to reconnect for dinner, drinks and wonderful adult conversations with no interruptions.
  9. Be honest in law. Yes, I know you all are thinking lawyers and honest? It just doesn’t go together. But it does here. My dad always taught me to be honest with clients…if they have a case, tell them. If they don’t, tell that them as well. They will not like to hear it then but they will like to hear it even less after they have paid a bunch of money AND lost. It can be so much easier to tell a client what they want to hear but that is not doing anyone any good. I have thought of this several times while practicing and meeting with difficult clients. And can honestly say I have held steadfastly to this lesson.
  10. Put your family first. My dad went to law school when I was in Kindergarten through 4th grade. He went to night school so there were lots of times I did not see him. However, I have no bad memories of this because when we were together it was quality time. Whether it was him brushing my hair 100 times a night after my bath or our “date nights” where he would pick me up on our steps for the date and we would dance in our living room. As I grew up and he was a busy attorney he was still at pretty much every single sporting event I was ever involved in. And the only reason he missed was if I had a far away game and my brother’s local game overlapped on the schedule. He has also made countless trips to Kentucky just to be able to spend time for us. I also know how important it is to him that we take a family vacation every year…and it is just as important to us. We look forward to it all year long.

Thank you for everything, Daddio…I love you:)

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