Happy Fathers Day

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I have a great father. When I was young he was always firm but fair. He disciplined me when appropriate. But I always knew he loved me. He taught me many important life lessons: the importance of hard work, how to plan, how to negotiate, how to set boundaries, and much more. He understood a basic principle of parenting. You are not really raising children, you are preparing future adults.

Today as an adult, and father of three, I understand a little about the art of fatherhood. Becoming a father is one of the easiest and pleasurable things you can do. Your part is over quickly. That is unless you consider living with a crazy person for a few months. Sorry honey! Being a good father, on the other hand, is extremely difficult. It is a huge commitment of time, energy and effort. At some point, you use everything you know. What you don’t know, you make up. It is simultaneously the hardest and most rewarding job you will ever have.

There are many traits shared by good fathers: as mentioned firm and fair, able to discipline in love, being present in mind, body,  and spirit. The list goes on. Today for the purpose of illustration, and for fun, let’s look at an example. A good father is ever vigilant. When Elizabeth was two, Crystal and I were at the pool in our condo complex. Elizabeth was playing with some toys, and we were talking with another resident a few feet away. Up until this point, she had never gone into the pool without being in my arms. It was at that moment she became independent. She got up and ran (not walked) into the deep end. Immediately she went under the water. When Crystal let out a blood curdling scream I was already diving. I was there in seconds. My heart raced as I picked her out of the water. I still remember the big smile on her face. She knew enough to hold her breath. What I found amazing about the experience is that there was never a doubt in her mind. If she jumped, daddy would appear. Bottom line, I guess that’s the main thing about fatherhood. Right or wrong you have to be there and do the best you can. Happy Fathers Day!

Crystal’s Corner

I am a Daddy’s girl.  My father has always played a big role in my life and that hasn’t changed with time.  He and I still laugh at the same jokes, like the same old black and white classic movies on TV, and like to eat lots of pie.  Becoming a parent and a spouse made me realize how much my parents had to do to raise me and my siblings.  It is hard work, but very rewarding.  Fortunately, my husband has a really good relationship with my father.  When we go to visit him, both of us help with whatever he needs and spend time with him.  It is hard to see your parent age, but at the same time I cherish the time we spend with my dad and Ron’s dad.  We are still learning from them and enjoying their company.  When we are with our dads, time goes slower, the pace is slower and less stressful.  When we are with the grandkids, time goes faster and everything seems to be in fast motion.  We need to go home to take a breath and go at our own pace which is somewhere in-between.   But life is very rich, dealing with all of the age groups we have (from 2 years old to 92 years old), and I know, as I think Shakespeare, said “Time is fleeting” We will only be in this stage for a short while. We are making the best of it.  If you have a father, be nice to him, cherish him, and if you are a father, enjoy your children, whether they are toddlers, grade schoolers, high schoolers or older.  They are always learning from you and you can always learn something from them. Also, eat some pie.  There is nothing like pie.


My Dad a couple of years ago in Chicago

My Dad a couple of years ago in Chicago


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