Sunday, June 19, 2011

Lessons from our Fathers

On this Father's Day I've been reflecting on the importance of my dad, step-dad, and husband in my life and the things they've taught me. While it's hard to sum up all the lessons we learn from our parents, a few things really stand out.

The Lesson: Try Something New and Take a Lesson.
While my dad and I didn't spend a lot of time together while I was growing up, I remember with great fondness the time we did share. Baseball games at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore, MD, skiing at Snowshoe and Mammoth Mountain, living on a sailboat in Daytona, and windsurfing in LA. My dad was the spirit of adventure in my life. He enjoyed challenging himself and learning new things. I was lucky and he took me along to learn new things as well. He never seemed to hesitate to sign up for something interesting. I remember him learning about photography, how to mountain bike, and to ride horses. Wether it's my personality or the lessons I learned from him, I, too, love to try new things and never hesitate to ask for a lesson.

The Lesson: Positive Reinforcement and a Cheering Section Make a Difference.
My step-father came into my life when I was 12. A great guy and welcome addition to the family, he was a great moderator in my house. My mom was very protective (thank goodness) and I tried to rebel. My step-dad did his best to support her, but always seemed to find a way for me to get a little bit of what I wanted. Throughout high school and into college, he encouraged me to do my best and showed up to support me just when I needed it. To this day he offers his praise and supports me with whatever I attempt, asking questions and showing interest.

The Lesson: There is a Time and a Place for Everything. 
This lesson I get from my husband, father to my fabulous 7 year old daughter. I've always been one to try something new. And I've always been one to try something else new. I don't tend to sit still and I don't tend to have patience for those who do want to sit still. As we raise our daughter, my husband is the one who reminds me that she's just a kid. While we both want her to learn and do anything and everything she can, she's not ready to do it all this summer. My husband reminds me that there is a time to do the things on our list that is better than another time. It's best to do what works with our schedules than to try to do something that doesn't fit in and deal with the frustration.

So this week, take a few lessons from the dad's in my life - try something new, maybe take a lesson; surround yourself with positive reinforcement and a good cheering section; and find that new thing that works with your life and schedule.

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