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What we learned from our fathers PDF Print
Saturday, June 14, 2014 8:00 PM

It has been said: one father is worth more than a hundred schoolmasters. It is important to have a father in the home for the life lessons he can pass on to his children.

New babies make men out of fathers and boys out of grandfathers. The best years of fatherhood are when your kids are old enough to wash your car but too young to drive it.

Many a father works hard to keep the wolf from the door, then his daughter grows up and brings one home. It is not easy to be a parent, but it is vital to have both a mother and father in the home raising children.

Sonora Smart was one of six children. When she was still very young, her mother passed away. Sonora and her five brothers were raised by their father, William Smart, a veteran of the Civil War.

In 1909, Sonora, now Mrs. John Dodd, living in Spokane, WA, got the idea for Father’s Day. She wanted the celebration to be the first Sunday of June in 1910 because that would have been her father’s birthday, but the local ministers had a conflict with that Sunday, so it was agreed to mark the day on the third Sunday.

Congress made Father’s Day a national holiday in 1971. What have we learned from our fathers the last 115 year? Here’s a sample of things learned that I found at the bottom of my “borrowed” file:

My father taught me religion—“You better pray that stain will come out of the carpet.” He taught me about logic—“Because I said so, that’s why.” And he taught me about foresight—“Make sure you wear clean underwear in case you’re in an accident.”

My father taught me about irony—“Keep crying and I’ll give you something to cry about.” He taught me about the science of osmosis—“Shut your mouth and eat your supper.” Father taught me about contortionism—“Will you look at the dirt on the back of your neck!”

My father taught me about stamina—“You’ll sit there until that spinach is all gone.” He taught me about weather—“This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it.” And, he taught me about hypocrisy—“If I told you once, I’ve told you a million times, don’t exaggerate!”

My father taught me the circle of life—“I helped bring you into this world and I can take you out.” My dad taught me about behavior modification—“Stop acting like your mother!” My father taught me about envy—“There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don’t have wonderful parents like you do.”

My father taught me about anticipation—“Just wait until we get home.” And, he taught me about receiving—“You are going to get it when you get home!” My dad taught me ESP —“Don’t give me that look, I know exactly what you’re thinking!”

But most of all, my father taught me about justice. “One day you’ll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you.”

*****

A husband took his wife to her 30th class reunion and disco was the dance theme. There was a guy on the dance floor getting down big time—break dancing, moonwalking, back flips…the works.

The wife turned to her husband and said: “See that guy dancing? Twenty-seven years ago he proposed to me, and I turned him down.”

The husband says: “Looks like he’s still celebrating!”

*****

The summer season is rapidly approaching. Millions of American families will be taking to the roads in search of memories for a lifetime. Comedian Jerry Seinfeld warns us: “Remember, nothing is ‘fun for the whole family.’”

Seinfeld said his parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.

Rita Rudner offered this advice to other young couples. “I want to have my children while my parents are young enough to take care of them.” Caring for young grandchildren sure sounds like a fun activity for people in their 50s and 60s.

More parenting advice from Rudner: “When I meet a man, I ask myself, ‘Is this the man I want my children to spend their weekends with?’”

Woody Allen observes, “Life is full of loneliness, misery and suffering, and it’s over much too soon.” He also said, “My parents stayed together for 40 years, but that was out of spite.”

Most of us would believe in God, if he would only give us a clear sign—like making a large deposit in our name in a Swiss bank account.

 

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