5 Things Dads Teach Us


Do you pay attention to the things your dad says? What rolls off your tongue when a "my dad always says" memory is prompted?

What do you quietly laugh to yourself about when you think of your Dad's habits or sayings?

During this week of Father's Day,  I have wanted to sit down and write to several of the fathers I know and get to spend time with.  The little things I hear and see them doing makes my heart swell.   As a coach and personal trainer, the hour I spend with my clients is all about them. This means, I listen a lot and I learn a lot. To celebrate dads we see and dads we don't see, dads who are with us and dads who are not, all of our like-a-dads and all of the first-time dads, here are a few of the things I have learned from dads!

5 things I've learned from Dads just doing their Dad thing:

  1. Bob reminds me that the real joy is in giving!  I can't tell you how much joy I see on his face when I hear him talk about his grandkids and being able to contribute to their lives.  His pride, love and commitment to do anything it takes and give all he can to support his family and kids and grandkids makes me smile!  He reminds me of my dad and the pride my dad always took in our activities and accomplishments.
  2. Eric is confident in everything he does. And yet, he is so humble.  He shows that the secret of life is not determined by what others think or are doing, but by doing what is right for him and his family. He is one of the most genuine and compassionate people I know.
  3. I love seeing the humility and trust in Hugh's voice when he defers to his adult daughter's opinion.  It reminds me of numerous times my dad would ask me about exercises or nutrition and really try to take my advice to heart. Hugh also honors his past and maintains strong connections with his roots - I always learn something when I listen to him, just like my dad's stories and memories.  
  4. Chris lights up when he talks about his kids and their accomplishments. It is so cool to see the capacity of love shown in subtle ways!  He reminds me a dad is never too busy to talk about his kids!
  5. It never ceases to amaze me how comfortably Sean can carry on conversations whether it be about gardening or college rivals or hockey. He's just like my dad with his numbers and awareness of everything going on in sports.  He reminds me how important it is to go with the flow and enjoy the little things in life.

Plus 3  "And then somes" when it comes to dads and reminders of my dad:

  1.  Lucianna who clips newspaper articles to share with me. It's such a comfortable and reassuring feeling.  It gives me hope that we will not lose touch of books and papers and learning, along with the power of community.
  2. My two kids...Brendan and his skin that tans just like my Dad's did and his awareness of other people's needs. He really surprises me with this one, but is so like my dad, it's weird!  Natalie and her sense of humor and super sharp mind. She and my dad were buddies, but she only got to know him for 5 years....they would have been kindred spirits. They remind me how lucky we are to see our loved ones carried on in each other!
  3. This could not be complete without acknowledging the bond that exists with all of my cousins and friends who also have said "until we meet again" to our dads in heaven and the stars. We remember the times of year, months and sometimes even exact days that are the anniversaries of the deaths. The way we reach out to each other and mutually support has taught me so much about the power of the human heart and soul and our connectivity to each other.

"Hi, I'm Cliff. Drop over sometime" was one of the funny things that always made me laugh when my dad said it (except for when I was 13 and then I probably wanted to run!) Anytime I meet someone named Cliff, it almost rolls off my tongue, I have to stop myself!

Happy Father's Day to the dads I watch, learn from and love who are doing their dad thing!  We appreciate you!