Just after Mother’s Day, I posted about things my mother taught me, and so, on this Father’s Day, it seems only fair to dedicate a blog post to my dad.
Dad taught me a lot of things, too, and I remember many of them in the form of little sayings that he repeated so many times that I’d never be able to forget them even if I wanted to. In fact, my siblings and I find ourselves repeating these “dad-isms” to each other and to our family members on a regular basis.
1. “You can always get more, but you can’t put it back.”
This one was most often spoken at meal times and could pertain to anything from ketchup to a serving of my mom’s homemade pot pie. My parents were children during the Great Depression, and they both remembered times when their families struggled to get by. Because of that, Dad taught us to be careful to avoid waste. We were always encouraged to clean our plates, and it was never acceptable to take more than we could use.
To this day, I guard against careless waste. While I’m not a fan of forcing someone to clean his or her plate, I am a fan of teaching children to limit what they put on their plates. I have uttered these words many times to my own grandchildren and nieces and nephews, “You can always get more, but you can’t put it back.”
2. “I wonder what the poor people are doing.”
This particular quip was for those times we were enjoying one of life’s simple pleasures. We might be sitting around a campfire, taking a walk on the lane, or eating ice cream at the dining room table. Dad would say this to remind us that we were rich, not because we had lots of money, but because the simple pleasures of life are riches for which we should be thankful.
3. “Twenty years from now you won’t remember that.”
I probably heard this line more than any of my siblings. By the time I was born, my parents, who had already been raising kids for seventeen years seemed to be getting a little weary of their parenting gig. So when I was whining or bawling about some injustice I’d suffered, Dad would trot out this line to help me gain a little perspective.
My dad was one-of-a-kind. If I’d had the opportunity to say just one thing to him on Father’s Day this year, it would have been this:
“Thanks, Dad. Thanks for the lessons and for the memories.”
What’s one thing that you would thank your dad for today?