What A Father Knows

Father and son learning to ride a bike!

What a father knows is the sort of headline that I love for it offers a million possibilities and you know that I hate being restricted by anyone and anything. I should take this moment and create some sort of poster board with a list of things fathers know that we need to teach our children about.

It would be perfect for Pinterest and with all the traffic that is generating, well it might be the kick that this joint needs. You know what I mean. That is your humble servant saying that maybe it would be the place that the agent who is looking for a new writer would be hanging out in. And he or she would see that poster about What a Father Knows and follow it back here.

Oh My!

Can you see the possibilities? Can you imagine what it could mean. They might sign me up right then and there to write a book about being a dad. Don’t tell me that the market is saturated. Don’t tell me that there are a ton of those books out there because I know this and it doesn’t matter.

It doesn’t matter because people like choices. It is why you can drive a Honda/Toyota/Ford/Mercedes/Lexus/Hyundai/Kia/Dodge/Chevrolet sedan.  Don’t get side tracked by my having placed luxury next to the average Joe manufacturers because you’ll miss the point.

And that point is that there often is a minimal difference in reliability and quality between these cars. Compare a Toyota Camry to a Honda Accord and you’ll find that the reason many people choose one over the other comes down to brand preference. Is there a real difference between Time and Newsweek.

People will read what this dad has to say. Much of the success will come down to proper marketing, but that is a separate topic.

Words Left Unwritten

Or maybe they’ll move from Pinterest to here and onto Words Left Unwritten. Maybe it will happen because they’ll stumble onto An Uncertain Certainty and New Year’s Eve and be compelled to find out more. They’ll read those words and scour WUL and then come back determined to find out more.

And I’ll write about how I got caught up listening to Fleetwood Mac sing Silver Springs over and over. I’ll talk about how it made me think of a million stories and how I remembered a few of my own. I’ll write about how Stevie Nicks sings “Was I just a fool” and “Give me just a chance.” Every one will wonder what the connection is and I won’t say more than I understand this.

But that will be enough. That will be enough for most of you.

What a Father Knows

What a father knows is that sometimes life decides to give you the sort of beating that makes you wonder what the hell you did wrong. But you have choices, oh do you have choices. You can lie down and let yourself be kicked into submission. You can roll over and just give up, or you can laugh.

You can laugh because no bully can continue to administer that sort of beating when they are being laughed at. It frightens them and gives you their power. The question is what do you do with that power afterwards, maybe you turn around and kick that sucker in the balls or maybe you just keep laughing. Maybe you laugh because it is disconcerting and there is power in the mystique you create.

What a father knows is that success is based upon what you see when you look in the mirror. Your own happiness is based entirely in your self perception. Those don’t have to be just words, they can be your own truth.

And that is part of the journey of life, the search for our own personal truth.

Who Am I & What Am I

My children and I are talking and they want to know what my life was like when I was not quite an adult but not a boy either. That is a 7.5 year-olds way of trying to figure out how I could have lived before I became a father. She knows I had a life, but it doesn’t quite work for her yet.

We talk about my old apartment and then they ask what happened in Jerusalem. It is a long story that they don’t know and that is ok, but they know pieces of it. I tell them a few funny stories but another memory flits through my mind that I don’t share.  I don’t think that anything has registered on my face but girls pay attention to facial expressions in ways that boys don’t.

“Daddy, why did you look sad?” I am surprised that she caught the twinge but I am not going to tell her that sometimes I feel regret for not chasing that particular dream. I smile and tell her that it must have been something I ate.

She laughs and says “dad, your farts are terrible. You better go to the bathroom now.” I laugh, that girl just makes me smile.

What a father knows is that we pay a price for every choice we make. Sometimes it is bargain and sometimes it is a ripoff.  That doesn’t change the need for us to decide whether we choose to laugh or cry.

But what a father teaches his children is that the people we surround ourselves always make a difference.  Don’t let go of those who make your spirit soar and don’t hold onto those who crush your heart.

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  1. tnkerr June 8, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    As a father I feel that I didn’t know or understand anything that was going on. Unless my wife explained it to me in great detail. As a grandfather, I think I am a little bit better. But only a little bit. Truth is, I have flailed about hopelessly for most of my life but, my adult children are now telling me that I didn’t do that bad. Warms my heart, it truly does. Sounds like you got a handle on it though. And you can write well too! Lucky you, count your blessings!

    • Jack June 8, 2014 at 10:24 pm

      I think many of us feel or felt a bit like we were flailing around. If your adult kids are telling you that you did ok you probably did.

      As for me, well I think I know about as much as anyone. There are very few rules in life, most of it is just stuff we figure out as we go along.

  2. fatgirlinboxinggloves June 8, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    I like how this post covers such a broad spectrum: Fatherly advice; Fleetwood Mac; Pinterest; self-reflection, and stinky farts. 😉

  3. Natalie D June 7, 2014 at 9:39 am

    I don’t remember a lot of what my dad said to me, but I remember things he taught me. How to use a drill press. How to catch a ball. How to clean a paintbrush.
    “What a father knows is that sometimes life decides to give you the sort of beating that makes you wonder what the hell you did wrong”? That’s something I had to learn on my own. Sometimes it sends me reeling for a while, but I’m learning to laugh at it all.

    • Jack June 8, 2014 at 10:21 pm

      Hi Natalie,

      Those are still important things that I hope my kids can say they learned from me. I want them to have real skills that have practical application as well as the “philosophical” stuff.

      In part because the “philosophy” is usually tied into things you have to experience yourself to really understand.

  4. Susan Shuman June 7, 2014 at 5:36 am

    Hi Jack,
    Now, these are some wise words that I definitely needed to hear. Your timing is incredible. Thanks!

  5. Jens P. Berget March 11, 2012 at 3:02 am

    Hi Jack,

    I’d like to say that a father knows everything, but most of time, I feel that I hardly know a thing. Things are happening so fast, and it’s just so hard to keep up. The kids are growing up so much faster today than when I was young. At least it feels like it. As I remember, the only thing we did until I was 12 years old, was to be outside and play basketball and soccer. Now, the kids are more inside than ever, and they’re watching YouTube and playing games… I keep telling them to go outside, and I believe that a father should know how to get the kids to do things without giving them candy (I’m so terrible at getting them to do things without yelling, or involving candy) 🙂

    • Jack March 11, 2012 at 11:24 am

      Hi Jens,

      It is different than when we were kids. I was rarely inside and often it was because I had homework or was grounded.

      I always wanted to be outside. Our kids are growing up in a different world.

      Believe me, I have moments where I bark or bribe them too.

  6. Rizwan Sultan March 10, 2012 at 9:59 am

    I have been following this Pinterest thing for a while now and trying to establish what I think are effective strategies for my own Internet Properties to take advantage of their staggering growth and exposure. After reading this more ideas have definitely come to mind. The idea of taking advantage of the ability to create “do-follow” links at the moment may prove to be the most valuable for non Visual types of business promotion.

  7. Bill Dorman March 10, 2012 at 5:50 am

    Wise words indeed; it’s interesting to look back and compare how I was raised vs what I thought was best for my kids. At the end of the day we both turned out ok, but it was definitely different paths.

    I think the odds are better if you chose the more traditional path, but there is still no really ‘best’ way from what I can see; too many factors to become pieces of that puzzle.

    • Jack March 10, 2012 at 10:41 am

      We are in agreement there. The so called “best ways” don’t always work on or with everyone.

      I grew up with kids who had good parents and every advantage but still screwed themselves up. It happens.

  8. Harleena Singh March 10, 2012 at 5:16 am

    I agree with Hajra there!

    There sure is much more to Dad’s and even Mom’s though than meets the eye!

    But yes, looking at things from a dads perspective is totally different than it’s from a moms- as in our case or even in my parents.

    Things that dads share or what they knew were totally in contrast to what moms know or share.

    Thanks for sharing and it’s lovely to get to know your kids a little more through your posts- cute indeed 🙂

    • Jack March 10, 2012 at 10:37 am

      Hi Harleena,

      I think it is important for both sides to have their say because we really do see things differently.

      It is not a value judgment or comment on who is right/wrong. It is just part of life.

      Glad you enjoyed the post, thank you.

  9. Hajra March 10, 2012 at 12:18 am

    My, there is so much more to daddies than ice cream and allowances eh? 😉

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