The top ten things my Dad taught me without saying anything...
1. Fanny packs can be cool. When I was a freshman in high school we took a trip out West. My parents saved and planned and we all knew it was a once-in-a-lifetime trip. We rode on a plane, saw the Grand Canyon and Mexico. There are a handful of things that I remember about that trip that had nothing to do with the sites. One of which was that my dad wore a fanny pack for the trip. And.ROCKED.It. My mom tried to talk him out of it, and we all made fun of him, but my dad is way more about sensibility. In all fairness, men do have a disadvantage in the purse department. And no one was laughing when he agreed to carry our personal belongings. I also remember that we all got along incredibly well, that I experienced so many new things that I've held close to my heart, and that it is one memory from my childhood that has stayed with me for a very long time. When I think of a time when everything was perfect - I think of that trip.
2. Being formally educated doesn't make you smart. My dad is smart. Like really smart. Useful smart. He doesn't have a degree, but he is an engineer for a major company. He problem-solves and calculates. He opens factories in other countries. People listen to my dad. How did he get there? That is a really long story...but a good one. Maybe someday I'll tell you. In short, it had a lot more to do with working hard, being disappointed, working hard some more, being kind and fair, and then working hard some more. I think he regrets not getting a degree, but I personally think that what he has is much better.
3. When playing Rook with undecided partners, reveal yo'self. I only remember my dad yelling at me one time....when we were playing Rook. I thought I was being clever by keeping my identity as his secret partner a secret. Turns out I was wrong.
4. How to change my oil. I actually had to ask my dad to show me. I think that if it were up to him he would have changed my oil for me until I was married, and then he would have expected me to marry someone who knew enough about cars to change my oil. (Which I did.) However, my dad's a really good teacher, and when I told him I wanted to learn he got super excited and showed me. I remember that day and I remember that I loved spending it with my dad.
5. That I can build almost anything out of wood. I really can. If there is something I want...my dad's favorite phrase is..."You could build that." And thanks to my dad, I can.
6. Bootleg jeans never really went out of style. Do you remember the 80's? Everyone does. Everyone was wearing stirrup pants and tight rolling their jeans, this girl's dad was still sporting the bootleg jeans. I thought he was crazy - until I bought my first pair of bootleg jeans.
7. Hug your children and tell them how proud you are.
8. Take your boots off before you walk through the house. This was a combination lesson from my mom and dad. My mom would clean the house and my dad would walk through it with his boots on....his muddy boots. Until he learned. Then it was the simplest thing he could do to show my mom he appreciated what she did. And he did it.
9. Before making macaroni and cheese - make sure there's cheese. In other words, plan ahead. Our favorite story about my dad is when my mom went back to school and my dad had to suddenly become a domestic god in the evenings (I used that phrase VERY loosely).
10. Don't be afraid of change and being brave is pretty awesome. My mom and dad moved out of the country two times. They left everything behind for the adventure. I think that's pretty brave. and awesome.