Big Little Lessons From Dad


My Dad has taught me many big lessons over the years. For instance, do what you love. I’m not sure he ever uttered the four words out loud, but when I told him I wanted to pursue a career in dance after I finished college, and I told him I wanted to get a graduate degree in choreography, he brought me to my auditions.

Speaking of college, my dad also taught me that a college education is a gift. Just get it done in four years. This always felt like a reasonable expectation, even more so now that I’m a parent. He also demonstrated time and again the value of keeping family traditions alive and not sweating the small stuff. Perhaps most importantly, all the times he said “no” taught me gratitude.

Not every lesson my dad has imparted to me has been grand and all-encompassing. Some have been slight and specific, but even the smallest ones have had a big impact on my daily life.

Go to the dentist twice a year. I hate it, but I do it.

Read your local newspaper. It took until 9/11 for this one to take hold. Now, I’m such a news nerd that I listen to talk radio in the car.

Always have $20 in your wallet. Luckily, I know where my kids keep their cash. (Please don’t leave sanctimonious comments. I always pay them back.)

Get gas when you have a quarter of a tank left. No one’s perfect.

Get to the airport early. If my husband ever leaves me, my insistence on getting to the airport two hours before a flight will be the reason.

Keep your car registration current. This one is rather specific, but I speak from personal experience when I tell you it’s worth double-checking.

Buy more Halloween candy than you need. And be smart about it. Don’t buy Laffy Taffy on sale. Buy the candy you want to eat when you get fewer trick-or-treaters than anticipated.

Thank you, Dad, for all the big little lessons. Keep ‘em coming. And yes, I need to put gas in the car.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads in my life, near, far, and forever in my heart.



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