Saturday, June 19, 2010

A Good Father -- by Peter

A little introduction: Peter is my awesome brother-in-law (married to my sister Stephanie.) He is a really good father and I knew he had to have learned that somewhere. Indeed he did. He learned it from his Dad Dale.

Webster’s Dictionary defines Father as: a man who has begotten a child. 
Whereas this may be the accepted literal definition of the term father, truly being a “father” goes beyond just the literal definition. I know I may not do him justice, but I’d like to share a few thoughts about my own father and what he has taught me throughout my life. 

A true father’s responsibility doesn’t simply lie in just the contributing of creating a child but extends into the responsibility of shaping that child into a young man or woman and eventually into an adult.

From a young age I know my dad probably never had an easy life, but I do know that he worked hard and accomplished anything he ever set his mind to. There’s nothing that he seems to be afraid of, or if there was, he never let his boys know. As I’ve grown up watching him and working beside him he has taught me that through hard work and dedication anything is possible. I’m grateful for his love and commitment to our family and for his quiet and daily sacrifices he made in order to provide for our family. I’m sure there were times when it would have been easy to just do what he wanted to do, work less, play more, but he always made sure we had food on the table and a home to call our own. He supported us in all of our athletic and academic endeavors and continues to do so today.

I have very few vivid memories of him when I was small, but as I watch him interact with my own children I see how he must have been when I was growing up. Always willing to sit with someone on his lap often times listening to sporadic babble as only kids can do, willing to laugh with them, make them laugh and just be there as only a grandpa can.

I loved the times he would take us to the park and shag balls or take us shopping for those new cleats at the beginning of every soccer, football or baseball season. I knew if I went with dad he would get me the “good pair” of shoes, not just the ones on sale. And if I wanted the more expensive pair he made it clear that I would have to pay the difference. This taught me the importance of working for the things I wanted.

He taught me to be of service. He would drag us boys to any service project available even when we didn’t want to go. He knew that by serving others our attitude would change and it worked. I never once regretted helping someone out. 

He also taught me to serve faithfully in church callings, although he often can’t be in church because of his responsibilities with work, he never turns down a calling or fails to check in with his home teaching families.

He also taught me and my brothers discipline which too often is overlooked these days. He let us know that we were expected to behave in certain situations and that when we didn’t there were going to be consequences. There was a time when we were being, I guess especially rotten, so he and my mother sat us in the doorway of our garage and made us sit and watch him carve a wooden paddle out of  a piece of wood. This was going to be the paddle of all paddles, in order to save on the future breaking of all our mom’s wooden spoons. Being in that moment was terrifying to say the least. I’ll always remember when he finished that paddle the fear at least I had from being on the opposite end. To ease our fears I guess is why he handed it to our mother and upon which she wrote on one side “The Paddle” and on the other “I Love You” Whatever happened to that paddle I’ll never know, but I know that I didn’t miss it the day it disappeared ;)!

Dad, I love you and thank you for all you are and have helped me to become. 
I’m proud to call you my Father.

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

Hey, I know that guy too! I have to say, almost everything I love about Peter are qualities he learned from his Dad. And there are SO many! He really is an amazingly kind, loving, patient person. And hard-working! I've never met a harder worker! Happy Father's day Dale!