A Happy Father’s Day Letter To My Dad
I spent a bit of time apologizing to mom on Mother’s day. I believe that most of it applies to you as well. If I may, I would like to appreciate you here. No, don’t say a word, please, just allow me to appreciate. I have much appreciatedness to extend to you.
I think a lot about what it means to be a dad. It’s not an easy job. There are so many big words that the world expects us to put into our kids. Words like respect, responsibility, principles, values, integrity, honesty, and maybe a little bit of humblelility. And I think you achieved them with Colby, Andy, and me. But let me just break this down to be sure:
1) RESPECT I am nice to old people, even when they fart indiscriminately around me. This, I believe, is called respect. I have it. You taught it. We are good on the respect issue.
2) RESPONSIBILITY Our children are our responsibility. It’s the biggest responsibility in a person’s life. So far, I’ve kept mine alive using food, and the knowledge that sticking metal in outlets is an “OUCHIE!” Please know that you have been successful in passing on the power of responsibility. You are two for two so far!
3) PRINCIPLES AND VALUES I won’t steal things or murder people. Done and done!
4) INTEGRITY - Between you and me, and all the people reading my blog, you have extremely high levels of integrity. You stood up to a ton of people who would did not share your opinion. And in the end you “took care of your own.” Monumental high five for that. I hope that one day my sons will pick up integrity from my example the way I pick it up from yours.
5) HONESTY Um. That’s an interesting word, honesty. When to be honest, might be better here. Gandhi honest, not so much. Jesus honest? Nope. Russ Jones honest? Yes. I am definitely Russ Jones honest. Russ Jones honest is the kind of honest where you aim to always tell the truth, unless somebody is asking you a “backed into a corner” type question where giving them the truth will not necessarily “set them free” so much as send them spiraling into a depression of painful self realization. That is the kind of honesty I got from you, and that is the kind of honesty I will be happy for my kids to have. If my kids want to shoot for Full Jesus Supreme Gandhi Honesty, then I will support their efforts…..but it won’t be mandatory.
I have learned so much from you, dad. And I continue to learn from you. I am constantly taking cues from how I was raised, and attempting to apply them to my children, like the bulging eye technique. That one is still hit or miss with me. I’m still trying to perfect it. As far as criticisms, I guess the only gripe I have about you and your fathering is that you really let me down when it comes to passing on the hair gene. I mean, really? You couldn’t help your kids out with some of those thick, flowing locks? Kind of selfish, if I’m being honest. I mean, look at this thick head of hair, blowing in the wind:
I have to be happy with a steadily thinning to an eventual bald head. But if that’s my gripe, then you must have done quite a bit right. I hope I can give my kids the kind of great childhood that you and mom gave to us. Whatever you did, it worked.
Dad, you are appreciated more than you could possibly know. And even though we are many miles apart, your words and guidance are always in my mind.
Happy Father’s Day
BTW this counts as my Father’s Day card! BAM! Saved 44 cents! Good money management, right?!