The third Sunday in June is recognized as Father’s Day here in the US and in many countries around the world. I guess the tradition of Father’s Day started in the early 20th century in West Virginia to honor a couple hundred men who passed in a mining accident. Perhaps fitting to start the tradition in a state where you were likely to have more than one familial reference for your pappy? I like killing two birds with one stone. And we certainly don’t have an Uncle’s Day…
Anyway, I hit the cosmic jackpot with my dad, who I started calling Lar Bear for some odd reason. One of the coolest cats I’ve ever met, so today I dedicate this to writing about the most important lessons I’ve learned from my father.
I remember one time when a guy had upset me and I was being a pissy pants. I was the type of young person that couldn’t understand why I never had a boyfriend or why guys weren’t interested in me. (I now know it was because I was too awesome.) Lar Bear’s advice, “Let him take a running f*ck at a rolling doughnut.” I probably still think about that at least once a week and laugh out loud. I took that as my dad’s version of “don’t sweat the small stuff.” Laugh and get on with it. Duly noted.
My dad’s patience is one of my favorite things about him. Don’t get me wrong, he’s got that Schooly stubborn streak, but he taught me that retribution or revenge isn’t necessary. Let God or god or the universe or whatever you believe in sort that out in the end. It might not come on your time or in a way that you easily understand or even realize, but everyone really does get what’s coming to him or her in the end.
Lar Bear also taught me that silence is gratifying. Never talk just to hear your own voice. Your words have more power when they really mean something. Whether you’re watching a game, fishing, singing, or whatever, the space between the sounds is sometimes more important.
Being a hunter and fisherman, my dad has a respect for the Earth. He isn’t some hippie dippy PETA environmentalist, but I had a great example in him to not litter, to recycle, and to appreciate the beauty and gifts that this planet provides us. I may take it a few steps further to the left, but he planted those seeds.
If you know me at all, you know how much I love cursing. F*ck, sh&t, and c%cksucker are the brightest crayons in my language box. Of course, you can go over board and sound ignorant, but I did get some of my fabulous cursing skills from my dad. When I was little, I thought cursing helped him put things together. Just ask him about the grill at Grandpa Muller’s. The big lesson was that it’s okay to curse at things, just don’t curse at people.
He also taught me that there is always time for a game of HORSE. I used to sit on the step and wait for him to get home from work so we could shoot some baskets. He was probably tired and his knees probably hurt, but he never said a word about it. I was just a little munchkin not even half the height of the basket, but as he let me win, I felt taller than the trees.
The best thing about my dad is that he probably doesn’t even realize that he taught me all these things. He just does. There’s something to be said about someone who is a quiet example and never feels the need to get preachy or rant and rave about his ideas or opinions on leading a good life. He might not have been the flashiest or loudest guy at the party, but he was probably the best one, so good grab, Mom.
Alli’s one experience with a papa resulted in the bitchnapping of her sister, so she’s a little leary of Father’s Day. Alli and Joey have both had other good male role models like Ex3, Chef Boy, and Tiny T, so Happy Dad's Day to you all.