That’s Right Nate

Thoughts from a right thinker.

Lessons from my Father

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I may the world’s greatest father.   My daughter Emily is very lucky to have me in her life looking out for her and I’m sure she knows this.  I should be getting a call from her soon to wish me a Happy Father’s Day and as I reflect on the holiday I reallize that so much that I have learned about parenting, I learned from my own father.

1. Play with Your Kids – My father wasn’t shy in playing with my sister and I.  He was a big kid at heart and it was from him that I developed my killer instinct.  Whether it was tackling me on the football field or returning my sister’s serves right back at her until she was one big bruise from all the tennis balls crashing into her, my father never took it easy on us just because we were kids.  I still remember the time I almost beat him at basketball.  It was a cold November Sunday and the score was 14-13 in my favor.  I faked left and went right and threw up a layup.  It was a prayer that rolled around the rim 3 times before going in.  As I started celebrating, my dad started yelling at me that you had to win by 3.  My dad and I had a big argument and that was the last time we ever played.  I really wish I would have beat him legitimately just once, but it still meant a lot to me just to get to play with him.

2. Have a Sense of Humor – My dad was forever playing pranks.   One of his favorites was to wake us up in the morning by splashing a glass of ice water on our face while we were sleeping.  My mom was always yelling at him to take the ice out of the glass first.  He loved to light fire crackers underneath his bedroom window when my mom was trying to nap just to watch her wake up with a start.  He loved to hide her tranquilizers or to switch her medicine.  He even had a younger sister he never told her about–My Aunt Samantha.  I met her several times when I was with my dad, but I was always told to keep it secret from my mom and that we’d surprise her someday with the news.   I wish I hadn’t lost track of her.  Family is important.

3. Live your Values – In 1968, the South Side of Chicago was a dangerous place for a white man to preach racial equality, but my dad worked with Dr. Martin Luther King when he marched through Marquette Park.  While King was walking in the street getting all the headlines that Summer, my dad was organizing a neighborhood watch.  Armed only with baseball bats, his friends and he patrolled the South Side to make sure that race riots wouldn’t break out.  He was always thinking of the marchers too.  When they marched in the sweltering summer heat, my dad was always yelling for the fire department to turn their hoses on the marchers to cool them off.

4. Value Education – My dad was always involved in our schooling.  If a teacher gave my sister or I a bad grade, my father was up at school to demand they be fired.  When communists tried to infiltrate our schools in the 70s, my dad stood up for American values by demanding that communist or socialist teachers be fired.  He always reminded us that education was a competition against the other kids in our class and that there was no such thing as second place.

5. Honor God – My dad was not a religious man.  He rarely went to church when it wasn’t a wedding or Christmas.   Still, he always instilled a believe in us that if we misbehaved, God would get us even if we escaped his notice.   He reminded us that God was vengeful and homosexuals, communists, and fornicators would soon meet his righteous wrath.  He showed the ultimate strength of his convictions when my sister married a Catholic and he disowned her.

Thank you for being such an amazing dad!


Written by thatsrightnate

June 20, 2010 at 8:59 pm

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