Yesterday, celebrations of fathers all over the country took place for Father's Day. The first Father's Day was celebrated in Spokane, Washington, on July 5, 1908, in an attempt to complement Mother's Day celebrations. Mother's Day did not become a national holiday until 1914. Father's Day was not a national holiday until 1972! I'll admit, I was surprised! I was a whole 2-years old before Father's Day "was born"!
My dad retired from the United States Air Force Reserves.
There are generally two camps depending on the complicated relationships between parent(s) and child(ren). Some think they had the "best parents in the world," others believe they had the worst. It is all a matter of perspective, and the problem arises that to have "the best" or "the worst," you would have to know all the parents you are comparing yours to - as parents! That is impossible. That being said, I have the best!
[Disclaimer: I'm aware stories about childhood or family are often like vacation photos - they are only attractive to the people who participated. I wrote about my mother during National Women's History Month because of her influence and the example she set for me as a strong, courageous woman. It allows you a glimpse of my history. My father, of course, had his own influence on the foundation of who I am, as well - this is yet another glimpse.]
My dad taught me honesty and to respect privacy. I was relatively young, maybe 8 or 9 years old, when I asked my dad if I could borrow a dollar. He said, "Yes. Go get my wallet." I went to the table it sat on, not three feet away from where we sat, and began to open it. He made me jump when he raised his voice and said, "Hey!" I stopped, looked at him, walked over to him, and handed him his wallet. "You never go in a man's wallet or a woman's purse." I didn't get the dollar that day, but I learned a lesson in boundaries. Some things are none of anyone's business, and it is essential to listen. My dad did not say, "Go in my wallet and take it." He said very plainly, "Yes. Go get my wallet." If it was unclear whether I should have brought it to him, I was responsible for asking for clarification.
He doesn't respect thieves and liars. He would often say, "It's simple, if it's not yours, you don't take it." It seemed relatively simple to me as well, even at a very young age. He made it clear that lying and stealing were wrong, period.
Together my parents taught me the importance of teamwork and commitment. They had to work together to build (literally) our home and raise us simultaneously. Not every day was perfect. There were hardships, conflicts, exhausting days, sleepless nights. They will celebrate 61 years of marriage this November. That's commitment. It's still not perfect, nor will it ever be. They have been together through it all. They work through it together. They have SIX DECADES of history together! That's amazing. There are many lessons learned in those sixty-plus years, as well as a lot of laughter and smiles. I have the best parents in the world. Love Lots; Smile Often