I’ve been able to share a few things about my mom that were practical and insightful. Today I’ll share some wit and wisdom I learned from my dad.
My dad is kind, intelligent and possesses a great sense of humor. Even though he is of a generation where the women weren’t regularly in leadership, he has always been my sister and my greatest advocate and spur us on to excellence in whatever we do.
He’s from Georgia and I can’t think of him talking without hearing his southern drawl, so add a little southern comfort to your thoughts as you’re reading just three of the many things he’s taught me over the years.
1. Fertilizer in your shoes won’t make you grow. When I was about seven years old I had a friend spend the night who was small in stature. We were teasing her about it over breakfast and my dad told her she should put fertilizer in her shoes to help her grow. The kids weren’t clear on the definition of fertilizer so he explained that rabbit manure was a type of fertilizer. Later that morning I found my friend filling her shoes with bunny berries. Life lesson learned – even if there’s a reasonable explanation… if it’s literal or figurative poop, you don’t want to wallow in it.
2. The Dreaded Oak Disease… Isn’t. One day I was playing on a fallen oak tree and ended up with a rash. I ran to my dad and uncle to show them my problem and they told me, in seriousness, that I had The Dreaded Oak Disease and would die from it within a few minutes. They told me to go apologize to my mom for anything I’d done wrong and tell my sister I loved her. It was a troubling experience – and a complete spoof. Two realities from that story? Most of us assume The Dreaded Oak Disease in the midst of life problems but usually someone’s spoofing or over-reacting; disaster is not the only outcome. Also, take the time to always mend your fences and tell people you love them – our lives are fragile and could end in the next few minutes!
3. Candy corn and driving fix everything. When I was a child my dad had an excavation business so we often took drives to get a load of gravel in his dump truck. We’d rumble along in the huge tuck and my dad would reach over to offer me forbidden treats – candy corn! – while we talked about life. Sometimes being able to sit side-by-side and talk (or not talk) and just BE is a special treat. Sweetness helps, too.
Are there any special life lessons you’ve learned from your dad?
This post was originally published March 17, 2013 and is being recycled as part of the “I’ve Been Around” summer! Hope you enjoyed it and I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!