Happy Father's Day, Dad; You Taught Me to Be a Great Dad

It’s my first Father’s Day! So far it’s been an outstanding day — my wife took me to a delicious lunch at one of our favorite restaurants; there’ve been multiple photography-related gifts; my baby got just the kind of outfit I want to see him in; and I got to see my parents. That last part was particularly lucky, because my dad was a great dad, and he inspires me to be a great dad too.

My childhood was just the kind of uneventful that makes for a bad biopic. Who, after all, appreciates seeing a movie about a guy who had a healthy diet growing up, got driven to school every day, was taken to weekend classes and afterschool sports practices and had family dinners every night? “In this episode, Wade mows the lawn and has a turkey sandwich for lunch. There are Pepperidge Farm cookies for snack. His father teaches him some advanced math so that he can get ahead in class. After dinner, the family practices vocabulary words and takes a walk around the block.” That’s a thrilling TV Guide log line there!1

But, the kind of dad I want to be? I learned all that from my dad. I learned to help my child learn, and I learned to support him, and I even learned how to do both at once. I learned how to cuddle, and also how to leave the baby alone to give them their own experiences. I learned that having a family can be completely fulfilling and fit in with a challenging life. My dad clearly worked to be a great dad, and that inspires me to do the same.

So thanks, Dad, on this Father’s Day — you made my childhood great, and I really hope that I can do the same for my son.

  1. Maybe if you throw in something about how we used to put a leash on the cat and take him with us on the walks, then it could get a little more interesting. But that’s another blog entry.