Sunday, June 16, 2013

A Father's Words of Wisdom

My dad is a visionary leader, a droll raconteur, and a sentimental slob who loves his kids and grandkids and chortles like a hopped-up Santa at his own jokes. He’s the best and I love him.

In tribute to him and fathers around the world this Father’s Day season, I bring you some of his parenting wisdom.

Upon the whining of his kids at the prospect of Yet Another Cultural Learning Opportunity:

“You know, it’s my job as the parent to present you with educational experiences and it’s your job as the child to pretend not to like it.”  

His take on the Serenity prayer:

“If you’re happy, I’m ecstatic.”

On being a tourist:

“Always leave something left unexplored so you have a reason to come back.”

Career Advice Part One:

“If you write a page a day, in a year, you’ll have written a book.”

Career Advice Part Two:

“If you wake up in the morning and you’re not at least a little bit excited about going to work, then quit. Life’s too short to be unhappy with your job.”

Later this summer, my dad and I will head out on a short vacation together, a little father-daughter time to hang out, and explore, and crack each other up, and be serious. We will eat good food and drink good wine and we might remember to take pictures of  all the venues we visit. We’ll grin at odd moments and think how lucky we are to enjoy each other as adults and it won’t even cross my mind to pretend not to like it, cuz it will be awesome.

How about you? Has your dad gifted you with any sage advice that helps you navigate life?  


  1. I was on the phone with my dad last night and he reminded me of one of his favorite pearls he uses when one of us is being especially obstreperous: "What stop at difficult? With a little more effort, you could be impossible!"

    I'm sure there are a lot of other parents who've echoed this thought, am I right?

  2. I want that kind of DAD. Where'd you find him? He's a dream.

    My dad's favorite sayings:

    If it ain't broke, don't try to fix it.

    Sempre Fi.

    Always, always, be prepared. So, take two of these, read the map six times and call me when you get there.

    How's your car running? Get good gas mileage?

    Dad wasn't much of a talker. He was a Marine sharpshooter, a McGiver before McGiver, an explorer, a voracious, reader, a life-long boy scout and do-gooder, an athlete, a sports car racer, an actor, a control-freak and sometimes a real son of a bitch.

    He hated frailty in himself and I was glad the Alzheimer's kicked in before he realized how old and frail and no longer in control he was. With any luck, he slipped off thinking he was still a Marine or an explorer in Alaska's wilderness.

    Here's to dear old Dad!

  3. Dads are the best, aren't they? Whenever my dad calls me, he always starts the conversation with, "Hello. It's your dad." That's a dad for you. He puts all the pertinent info up front.

    Everything I know about story I learned from my dad. He always had a tale to tell at the dinner table and every weekend he took me to the movies. No wonder I'm a writer! Thanks to my dad, story is a part of me!