1. What Hard Work Looks Like
When my parents first got married, both worked two jobs in order to keep up with the bills. My father would leave his factory job and immediately drive to a high school where he worked as a janitor for a few hours cleaning up disgusting gum wads from under the future of America’s desks. I was raised with the mentality that hard worked showed results because I saw just how hard my father pushed himself to build a better life for his family. However, a lot of people I know have fathers who aren’t present or fathers who are complacent in their unemployment. A lot of these people have taken this example in stride and pushed themselves to work hard because they never want to know what an empty bank account and a numb ass from sitting on the couch feels like.
2. The Strange Mannerisms Of Male/ Male Interaction
Have you ever actually sat back and watched how two men interact with each other? There is a lot of firm handshakes and grunting to prove which one of them carries the bigger stick. Weird. If it hadn’t been for me tagging along to lunches with old friends and company picnics, I would be in the dark on how grown men get their socialize with each other.
3. How Badly It Hurts To See Someone You Love Cry
I have only ever seen my father cry a few times in my life, but those times were haunting and I have carried with me since the understanding of how hard it is to see someone so emotionally strong break in front of you. It reminded me that we’re all vulnerable creatures, fragile towards the wavering world we live in.
4. How To Argue
My father has always been a bit of a yeller, and thus growing up around that I learned to be calm and meek in times of arguments. Someone could pour coffee all over me and my voice would only be able to reach a decibel higher than it normally does. I saw the way the man I lived with dealt with anger, and decided to go the opposite route. Children learn by example, but children also have the choice whether to accept or reject the examples laid out for them.
5. How We Should Treat Family
My father is the second youngest of six brothers and sisters. Growing up in a huge family, he learned quickly how to navigate family dynamics. In response to the bolstering family he grew up with, he brought all he learned when he started his own family. He taught me how to treat the ones I love with sensitivity and respect, and to challenge the ones I love when I think they’re in danger or they’re wrong. Even if a boy doesn’t have a father around, the lack of one can be enough to teach them exactly how present they’ll be if they ever choose to have a family of their own.
6. What Mortality Looks Like
When my father went through his mid life crisis, he got two tattoos and a jetski. What I got was the harsh reality that he was aging rapidly right in front of me. It was the first time, as a young man, that I was faced with the reality that I would also age one day. If I am so lucky, gray hair and sagging skin are what is in my future. It was the first time I had to decide for myself: would I grow bitter about aging in my body, or would I embrace it as pure luck that i’m alive.
7. How To Change A Tire
Hey, Dad, remember that time I was stranded on the highway with a flat tire? I do. Thankfully my father equipped me with a AAA membership, but if I ever have a son the first thing I will teach him is how to change a tire as soon as he is able to hold whatever it is that you change a tire with.