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Jamie Jim Fathers Day

The Little (BIG) Things Our Fathers Say

Let’s be real. Father’s Day is around the corner and most of us are entering the danger zone of not having gotten anything yet and are hoping Amazon Prime can save the day...or we’re praying our children come through with an awesome family portrait featuring Dad as the superhero.

Whether or not our dads are still with us today, whenever Father’s Day rolls around, we always find ourselves trying to pinpoint that perfect gift that tells our dads and our partners just exactly what they mean to us.

As I was thinking about what my husband might like, it got me thinking about my own dad and all of the words of wisdom and, yes, dad jokes he has said throughout the years. This Father’s Day will be a tough one for me as this will be my last Father’s Day with the best Dad a girl could ever ask for. Being a Dad to three girls, he has instilled so many life lessons and “Dad-isms” over the years. The things our fathers say have this way of staying with us and carrying us through our lives more so than anything else.

I had the joy of witnessing this as I was getting in the car at the end of a recent business trip. A member of our leadership team said, “Have a safe trip and don’t forget to pat the plane!” I gave him a puzzled look and he said, “In our family, we always pat the plane as we board our flight. It’s kept me safe so far so why change it now?” Not moments later, his 4-year-old grandson ran out to the car, tapped on my window and said, “Don’t forget to pat the plane!” It immediately made me smile to see such a sweet sentiment passed down through three generations.

That gave me an idea, so I asked around the office and put together a little list of some of our own favorite dad moments. We hope you enjoy them and perhaps, this Father’s Day, instead of trying to find the perfect gift for dad, simply telling him how much he has meant to you by sharing some of your favorite moments or sayings might just be what the doctor ordered.

Lauren and her father, Kevin

“When was the last time you exercised?”

Spiritual, Emotional and Physical Wellness all starts with taking care of yourself! Whenever I have gone through a hard time or stressful period in my life, my dad's first response has always been, "When was the last time you exercised?"

Life gets crazy and people are crunched for time but my dad always taught me to commit to yourself first and find a way to take care of yourself everyday. He would always say you don't have to be the fastest runner or the most promising athlete, but wellness starts with exercise. At 65 years old he still runs 6 miles a day! Many times I forget, let go of my routine or put myself last on my to-do list. That is almost ALWAYS the WRONG approach. Getting my workout in, even if I only have 30 minutes, has always proven to give me the extra boost and positivity to get through anything the day might throw at me!

Cynthia and her father, Juan

“When you get to be my age, you’ll understand”

A timeless classic! When different generations have clashing ideologies, those of us in the “more modernized” generation believe we’re right! I feel as time progresses and as we get older, we see some of those classic ideals hold steadfast and true. This one is especially significant to me because as I’m getting older, I notice myself clinging to my dad’s words in a different way as I come across each of life’s new problems.

“Don’t cry, baby”

My dad always had a way of saying something without actually saying it. I used to get so angry at him when he’d say this to me because I hated that he was calling me a baby. He’d hold firm and say, “I’m not calling you a crybaby. I’m saying don’t cry… baby.” Funny how some things come full circle because now this brings us together and I’ve found myself saying those same words back to him when he has cried to me.

Katie and her father, Jim

“Don’t start a mess with a mess.”

When tackling anything in life (assembling a new piece of furniture, starting a new job, entering a new relationship), make sure the space around you (i.e.your life) is orderly and free of a mess.

"Girls can do anything boys can do!"

There was never anything in my life I feared taking on because my Dad always gave me the confidence that I could do anything I put my mind to.

"You can say a lot by just listening"

My dad is the strong silent type. He often sits back, takes in the situation and then speaks. Because of this, people truly listen and respect his feedback.

Erica and her father, Guy

“Remember who you are.”

In choices you make and actions you take, you are a reflection of this family and respect the family. Wait, maybe that was The Godfather.

“When in Rome…”

When in a new place, take it in, experience it as it should be experienced.”

Jamie and her father, Jim

“Always do what’s right, not what’s easy. Being honest is free.”

My dad is always honest. He doesn’t sugar coat things. In his eyes, being honest above all else is the best character trait a person can have. He has always said, “Being honest is free.” You may not have anything else to your name, but you always have the choice to be honest and, while it might not be easy, it is the right choice. Over the years, whenever faced with taking either the easy or the honest road, those words have replayed in my head and I’m sure they’ll continue to do so for the rest of my life.

“Don’t sweat the small stuff.”

Just a few weeks ago, while celebrating my youngest daughter’s birthday, I found myself disappointed and stressed because she was really fussy that day. I had imagined what her first birthday party would be like and, damn it, her sassiness that day was getting in the way, of the “perfect” birthday. My dad said to me, “Jamie, you’ll blink, and this [parenting, stress, life] will all be over. Don’t sweat the small stuff.”

He, more than anyone right now in my life, knows that to be true. His days are numbered and he has loved his family more than anything. He loved the craziness of having a busy house with three girls, introduced us to every sport under the sun, hosted endless sleepovers with our friends, met the boys we thought we loved and then ultimately the men we really loved, planned weddings, witnessed our children being born and stayed up to help shush our babies to sleep too many times to count. More recently, he’s been the one putting on a pot of coffee, trying to mend our broken hearts as we prepare to say goodbye to him. With every stress in my life, he has reminded me not to sweat the small stuff.  I love him for that. He knows how to let go of the small stuff and have a good time...and I am still figuring that out.

Happy Father’s Day to all the speakers of wisdom, newbie Dads & soon-to-be Dads out there!