I had a dad. Despite being from a broken home, he was there for me. Dads are supposed to be there for their sons and teach them the basic facts of life. Here are some of the lessons my dad taught me.
- When I was a young adolescent male and noticing girls were different, I expressed the thought to my dad about my very normal fear of not getting girls to like me. He said, “Son, half the human population is female. That means there is a pretty high probability you will get at least one of them. Plus there are all those fat and ugly guys who won’t get any and you get their share.” Dad failed to mention all the fat and ugly women. Or the crazy ones. Dad should have mentioned the crazy ones, since he had plenty of personal experience with those.
- As a young adolescent, I found myself needing career guidance. Dad came to my rescue. “Son, you can be whatever you want to be. But whatever you are, be the best there is at that. You can dig ditches, just be the best ditch digger there is.” That was really bad advice. Ditch digger was already an obsolete skill at that time, having long been replaced by “back hoe operator”. And it should have been pretty obvious to everyone that some jobs pay better than others. Some jobs provide better benefit to humanity. Some jobs require less back-breaking labor. And some dads should want their sons to be able to support their own families at some point without facing an early death from black lung.
- I was raised without church in my early childhood. Then, my dad married his third wife and suddenly decided that going to church was something families should do because it was good for the kids. So, we became Lutheran. And then we had a discussion about creationism vs evolution. Dad’s solution: Son, the Bible doesn’t say that Adam and Eve weren’t apes. Huh? Dad wasn’t a great theologian or a biologist. But he did know how to get out of taking sides in an argument.