Dad Wisdom

I am thinking about all you dads out there this Father’s Day.

Some of you will get cards and go out for brunch as a dad or with your dad this special day. But…some of you won’t.

Maybe you have little kids or grownup kids. Maybe you have a dad who has passed away and part of this day will be painful knowing he isn’t here anymore; you will look through pictures and relive memories in his honor.

More tragically, maybe some of you never had a dad in your life. That may be particularly sorrowful. Maybe you had a dad figure or figures in your life to help you develop into the person you are today: a coach, a stepdad, a mentor.

And maybe, as I have met many of you, your kids are estranged. Perhaps this is because of some fault on your part, but if you could change something to make it better, you would. Maybe you still can. Ugh. I am guessing it is painful.

For my own life circumstance, my kids now have two dads, both of whom love our kids and I appreciate them for what they do and add to Maddie, Kate and Thomas’ lives. Now that I am down a path of healing after finding out about Devon’s sexuality, I am happy to live this unexpected life of mine.

It is never boring, let me tell you.

One of the biggest things that has gotten me to this point is my own dad. His experiences, his sincere faith and his wisdom has come to me at many times during my adult life to help guide me. I love him so much.

I am going to ask you, Reader, to share phrases and memories that your own father or father-figure may have passed on to you as wisdom, which you can live by…and even pass on to your own children.

Here are several biggies from Don:

  1. Worry is like a fast getaway on a wooden rocking horse.
  2. I will bring back the Fanny-Pack under the brand name: I B Cool.
  3. God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference.
  4. Stick to the Letters in Red.
  5. Always assume that the other drivers on the road can’t see you.
  6. We don’t need a dishwasher. We already have two: You and your sister.
  7. There is a difference between reasons and excuses.
  8. Saying “sorry” is easy; asking for forgiveness is key.
  9. The best car is the one that is paid for.

So…what kind of wisdom can you share that you remember from your father or father figures? I want to hear them in the comments below.

Happy Father’s Day to all people who do any kind of fathering. You are loved and appreciated.

Have a Wonderful Day,



14 thoughts on “Dad Wisdom

  1. Hi Emily,

    My father died when I was quite young, but I do remember two pieces of wisdom he bestowed upon me. One quite wise, the other wise to him.
    1. If something sounds too good to be true, it just about always is.
    2. Washing your car in the rain makes sense, as the rain softens up the dirt.

    Yeah, Dad was Irish !

    1. That is lovely! I do hope, despite your dad’s passing, that you feel you honor him as playing a part in making a wonderful person in YOU!


  2. When I moved in with my then girlfriend later gay wife, I told my Dad that we didn’t see any good reason to get married at that point. He shocked me by replying that he wasn’t sure there was ever a good reason to get married. Wish i had listened.

    1. Whoa. That even shocked me a bit!

      Dads seem to have a bit a phrophetic gift sometimes. I have a story along those same lines that maybe I will share sometimes.

      Thank you for sharing, by the way.


  3. My dad always made people laugh, especially my sons. He always said he hated Fords, the car. So every year at Christmas my boys would give him something Ford related. He would gag and pretend to throw up and the boys would roll on the floor laughing.

    1. What a wonderful memory! That made me laugh, and it sounds like something my dad might like, too!

      He loved Fords, though, and cars in general. Maybe if I gave him a cat picture or something, it would have the same affect. He hates cats.

      Much love,

      1. He would also put his finger in the candle holder at Christmas Eve service at church and then pretend he got burned as the candles were lit around the church. My boys love him and so did I.

  4. Great idea Emily. One of my favorites from my Dad (your grandpa) occurred when I was about six years old and we were playing a card game. I started complaining about the lack of quality cards I had, and after a bit, Dad said, “Try learning to play the ones you’ve been dealt, and then maybe next time you’ll get some better ones.” It’s a philosophy of life that stuck with me at an early age. Now, when I’m playing the game well, it helps me look for value or meaning in whatever comes my way. But as I get older, the cards tend to be reshuffled faster than I’d like!
    Uncle Dave

    1. Uncle Dave,

      That IS a great philosophy. Bet he didn’t realize at he time how much it would effect you. You are the best uncle, ever. Thanks for sharing that story. I can just picture it, especially using that electric card shuffler you all had that I used to play with non-stop!

      See you soon!

      Your Niece Emily

  5. My dad was pretty straight forward no nonsense and always said what he was thinking. At times that could be colorful. I remember seeing a new bike one day and saying I wish I could have one. His reply was wish in one hand and shit in the other and see what happens first. He said if your really want it go earn it. I didn’t see the humor in it until years later when I was able to pass that lesson to my own kids. He was raised during the depression and was taught nothing was free or acquired without work. He taught us to be independent and to make it on our own. Some of us learned the lesson and did well others are still trying to grasp the concept. Looking back he had alot of insight. His father left when he was very young and it was very hard for him. He was always determined to do better for his family. As he passed away in 2008 today is a bitter sweet day and I remember him fondly. Love and peace to all on this special day.

    1. Dan,

      That sounds like something any one of my uncles would say, and I love it! I think we were pretty blessed to grow up with the hard-working family that we did.

      Happy Father’s Day to YOU, Cousin Dan!


  6. Emily,

    Words of wisdom are not on my forefront at the moment. Instead, I want to share two special traditions, both of which came from my dad. 1) No matter how old I was, my dad would always say, “goodnight my love, do wah do wah (with us saying do wah do wah together). My son and I share the same “goodnight” tradition. I also have my dad’s goodnight words recorded for my kids. 2) My mother taught me how to cook S.O.S. for my father so when my baby brother was born (Coop), I would be able to cook for my dad while my mom was in the hospital. Well, I was given the gift of being able to cook the same meal for my dad as his last meal before he passed. Memories I treasure. (My daughter is keeping the S.O.S. tradition going by cooking it herself and it’s become our “special” treat during holidays). My dad always let us know he loved us.


    1. Michele,

      Your family has some intriguing stories, and I know your family has experienced some pain in losing both your mom and dad.

      I love the stories you shared, and I am guessing that if each of your siblings wrote a chapter or two, you would have a pretty entertaining and moving Best Seller!

      What is S.O.S.? And why hasn’t Adam or Cooper made it for me?

      Love you, and thanks for all of your support,

  7. Hi Emily,

    You are most welcome!

    Yes, a book has been talked about countless times. My sister has numerous recordings from our father of some of his life experiences. I even have a chapter title, “My Mom Had a Rolex, Once!”. Yet, we can’t seem to put anything together. I lost my desire when I read that to write a book you have to have a meaning or purpose to where people will have a reason to read it as well as gaining something from it. All I’ve ever thought about is the lesson of rising above and moving onward and upward no matter what your experiences have been. Some day…

    S.O.S. is commonly known as Shit on the Shingle or Creamed Chipped Beef. Made in the service, back in the days… Our parents made it for breakfast, as well as dinner sometimes just adding peas and hard boiled eggs. We even had it as our Christmas dinner in ’82. I was always the guru maker, but Adam has mastered it as well. Scrambled eggs, bacon, and toast with SOS is a great breakfast brunch!

    Love ya,

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