Words about my Father; Images about the Father of my children

On Father's Day, I reflect about how blessed I am to have such two wonderful men in my life. My wise father and my sweet BJ, the father of my children, are quite different....not that BJ isn't wise or Daddy isn't sweet; they are just different. I think it is fair to say that my dad values words more and BJ values actions, so I'll spend the first half in word as a tribute to my dad, and the second in photos from our day, and you'll see the actions of the most competent man I know, my husband, BJ.


When I was a little girl, people would stop me in the store and say, "you look just like your daddy" and that made me very proud! Still am. Maybe because my dad and I more than look alike, we had some "rocky" years but here is a post reminding him of the memories and lessons I will treasure, that he has been a great dad for as long as he's been one... This is his 35th Father's Day, so a memory or lesson for each of those years he has been my daddy on Father's Day.

Memories and Lessons
1) Daddy was brilliant at thinking of ways to play sporting games with Douglas and me so we played whoofle ball in the old school lot, quarterbacking for us in the back yard
2)teaching us to be good sports,
3)and know that sometimes your brother is really fun to play with, forging a bond of a strong sibling relationship.
4) I remember him forgetting to pick us up from school if Mom ever needed him to...ok that is not a good Daddy thing....
5)but it taught me the lesson to always surround yourself with people (like Rita, his secretary) or Mom to help remind us to keep our head out of the clouds.
6)going on work trips (usually depositions) with him from an early age and learning
7) to look someone in the eye when you meet someone.
8)When I was 10, Daddy took me on a trip to Cleveland for a deposition and we went to an Indians baseball game and Daddy spent much of the game talking to an old guy who was a hot dog vendor, teaching me
9)everyone can have a great story; just talk to them (and look them in the eye).
10) Daddy took me a lot of churches growing up, teaching me to
11) value what others believe, even if you can't agree.
12)One of the best memories I have of childhood in general were one the many Ragbrais we did (bike ride across Iowa), but I especially remember with fondness the one just the two of us did together. On Ragbrai, I learned to
13)lay your clothes out; it helps get you ready for the next day and
14) enjoy the ride as much as the destination. We spent a lot of time in those little towns along the way, and not as much as time out in the "overnight" towns -- the big stops;
15)the lesson here is pretty valuable. Sometimes the smaller things (like the towns) in life along the way are as memorable and as sweet (like the sweet rolls) as our destination.
16) Daddy, remember one morning where we vowed to eat cinnamon rolls exclusively until noon, which we did successfully. I don't ever eat a sweet roll without thinking of that day, and it teaches me that
17)spending time with your children is a gift that lasts past the activity. Making memories together creates a bond and gives confidence.
18) When I was a freshmen in college, you coerced me to go to church and go to Sunday school, which I did, and it taught me
19) you meet good people in church and Sunday school is a place to connect. What a lesson this was as I met my husband in Sunday school.
20) When you dropped me off at college, you taught me, hands-down, the most important social lesson you have ever imparted. I quote it all the time as the pinnacled wisdom from you, giving me a very happy life:
22)When I was 10 years of age, I clearly had the best speech, which you helped me write, for a 4-h contest. But I lost the competition, and you came to visit me at school the next day to check on me, and I learned that
23)sometimes people just need someone care enough to ask, "how is your morale?" for it to improve.
24)I also learned the word morale at this encounter outside the door of my 5th grade English classroom, learning more from my parent probably than a teacher. I wonder if the nation could understand this truth, people would take their job as parent more seriously and give us teachers some slack!?!
25)Throughout college and when I lived abroad, you wrote me often. Not necessarily long letters, but short cards frequented my my mailbox teaching me
26)something hand-written, no matter how short, is worth the time
27)When I lived in Russia, you sent me a Christmas card every day of December and I distinctly remember your saying, "maybe in God's pure light, it is the journeymen who are most blessed" when I didn't really have the foggiest clue of what I wanted to do with my life
28) You always used to tell me I should be a teacher, teaching me that sometimes
29)your parents know you best.
30) You took us to see Broadway shows, plays, concerts, performances of Handel's Messiah, but you seem to always make a point to tell someone "I'm from the country"
31)teaching me to enjoy the classics and culture, but be proud of being from the country.
32) I remember Granny and my being asked to speak at your "Ladies Luncheon" teaching me
33) you value what the women in your life have to say, and that is really important for a daughter to see that.
34)I remember leaving me at home because I didn't get out the door for school on time....ok I admit I didn't really learn that lesson very well, so #35 isn't about my learning the lesson of always being on time, but.....

35) You have said so many times in life, "the most important decision you'll ever make in life is choosing your spouse." And on Father's Day, I celebrate the father of my children and I think you'll agree I learned this lesson quite well.

Here are some images of maybe what you are talking about....that you are choosing your children's parent..

Anna Cate and Molly's Daddy: The card I gave him summed it up!
IMG_0729.jpg picture by batesking04IMG_0721.jpg picture by batesking04IMG_0736.jpgIMG_0739.jpgIMG_0710.jpgIMG_0750.jpg picture by batesking04

WE had a wonderful weekend celebrating BJ as a father!! I looked at Molly tonight and said, "you are a lucky girl" as we sat on the blanket and I heard BJ and Anna Cate giggle and share in a Father-daughter experience fishing. You make everything simpler and more beautiful all at the same time in stride as you fulfill this role as Daddy. Happy Father's Day 2010!