Words for my father

In honor of Fathers Day — and more specifically, in honor of my own wonderful father — here are two stories about him. Both have been previously published, but they will be new to many of you.

Slow learner:

But so much of who we become originates with our parents, for good or ill. My mother taught me to use my imagination and be creative, to have a vision, to reach, and to make the best use of what I was given; these are essential parts of my creative nature, and I wouldn’t have any of it without her influence. It was obvious that her goal was to mold me into an artist of some sort. My father, though, shaped who I became without me ever noticing it.

Chief Paduke’s Revenge:

Several years ago my brother and I were talking about practical jokes we had played, stupid pranks and whatnot. My dad was around, and was laughing at the stories he hadn’t heard before, and pointing out the times we hadn’t been nearly as clever as we had thought. Now, my dad has a prankster’s heart, and we were fairly sure he had pulled off some good ones in his day, so we asked him about it. He laughed, and regaled us with the following tale.

Being a parent isn’t easy. It takes a special commitment to raise a child, a commitment many people aren’t willing to make. And for those of you who aren’t making that effort, it isn’t too late. Be a part of the lives of your kids. It will make a difference to them, and to you.

But to all the fathers out there — male or female; young or old; born to the role, deliberately choosing it, or forced into it by circumstances — who are making the effort and taking the time to be part of the lives of your children, may your day be filled with warmth and joy and love.