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I love my Dad.  My Dad wasn’t perfect and still isn’t today, but when I survey the landscape of dysfunction in families around the world, I’m humbled by what my home life was like growing up.  I am filled with a deep and profound thankfulness for all that my parents did do well and I don’t want to slip through life without periodically taking time to pause, reflect and share some of the things that often grip me with thanksgiving.  So, in that spirit, here are ten things that I believe my Dad did well when I was growing up in his home.

  1. Didn’t crush me with criticism every time I did something he didn’t like.
  2. Had the guts to warn me when I was doing something wrong or dangerous.
  3. Volunteered to coach my little league baseball team the only year I played.
  4. Cried when it was appropriate.
  5. Admitted when he was wrong.
  6. Paid the bills, maintained the house, kept the cars running.
  7. Encouraged me in my interests even when he didn’t share them.
  8. Sat me down and talked to me face to face through the sad or serious times in life.
  9. Told me he loved me and was proud of me often.
  10. Kept maintaining a relationship with me after I left the house by calling, talking, visiting, helping, encouraging, giving and loving both me and my new family.

There are way more than these ten.  I tried to boil it down to the top tier ones that I think had the most positive affect on me.  These things aren’t really all past tense either.  He continues to do most of them today, even though his little boy is getting old!  Thanks, Dad.  I love ya!