Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Thanks Dad

A son needs a dad to teach him that family is more important than work.

When I wrote that statement for my second book, “Why a Son Needs a Dad,” I was working nearly seventy hours a week and much of that time was on the road. I was not committing nearly enough time to my relationships at home.

One evening while at the desk in my hotel room, I thought of my father as I began work on what would become a tribute book to him.

I remembered he worked hard to provide for our family, sometimes at two jobs to make ends meet. He pushed himself beyond his education to acquire the skills necessary for a better career. He traveled, too, and because of his efforts, rose through the ranks.

But he also made time to be with his five children, both together and one-on-one. He made sure the treehouse we built ourselves was sturdy and safe, that my mini-bike was always tuned, and once we were big enough to see over the steering wheel, each child got a chance to drive through the neighborhood in their choice of the station wagon or the old pickup truck.

With these memories in mind, I began to slow down. I traveled less and I turned down new and more promising, as well as more demanding, opportunities. No, I didn’t make a million bucks before I was forty and I never became the president of a company.

But I do attend every event at my daughters’ schools, cheer at each cheerleading competition, attend most of their medical and orthodontic appointments, and still have time to horse around in the yard. And not once while having a good laugh with my girls have I ever wished I was negotiating a quota busting sale instead.

No, I haven’t made that million, but I am rich nonetheless. I have my dad to thank for that.

1 comment:

Jessica said...

My husband learned this valuable lesson from his Dad but it was because his Dad found work, and earn lots of money, more important than family. From that my husband decided he'd be around as much as possible. We decided that I would be a stay at home mom (I do babysit for 3 kids though) and he would be the breadwinner. He's an electrical lineman and has been gone since the end of September, but he's going to take 2 weeks off to spend it with us and enjoy being a family again.