As a father, I think it’s easy to get lost in the day to day activity of life and wonder if we really make an impact on our children and our families. I was thinking about that today as I watched my son play a tennis match in the summer heat on Fathers Day. He was working hard, pushing himself, and though he was losing, he stayed in the game, he kept fighting, he was relentless… and my older son who is managing a team of lifeguards at a neighboorhood pool, learning how people see responsibility and work ethic differently. While he may not clean his room as much as we like, he will show up early and stay late at the pool to make sure the work is complete, because he gave his word and it’s his responsibility….
Watching them grow, watching them learn the lessons of life, the triumphs, the trials, and the tears… that’s the gift. Seeing them become men, responsible, creative, industrious and loving… that’s the treasure… I wonder sometimes how they heck they learned that… I guess I didn’t realize how much of what I did, rather than what I said mattered to them. That made me think of my Dad. Because those things are what I learned from listening and watching him…
I’d like to share the following poem I wrote on my first cruise in the Navy. I was fortunate that the greeting card company Blue Mountain Arts bought it and published it on a Fathers Day card back in 1989. It was my first big “win” and a result of the very things my Dad taught me… use your gifts, work hard, dare to dream, work hard, face your fears, work hard, and love…..
“A Special Thank You, for Dad, From Your Son on Fathers Day”
“As I was growing up, I didn’t always realize
everything you did for me. I didn’t always know or understand
the way you thought. Yet you waited patiently and gave me room to grow. You let me make my own decisions, and when they were wrong, you picked me up and encouraged me to try again.
Dad, so many years have passed since I was a child, and now I realize that all the little things you did for me were your way of showing that you loved me.
I’ve grown so much since then, but I’ll never be too big to say… I love you Dad…”
Copyright 1989 Blue Mountain Arts – J. Kalusa
I will always be grateful to the man who taught me the real keys to success, showed me in so many different ways the very things I speak of in A Company of 1…. know who you are and who you want to be, dream big, have courage to face your fears, make mistakes and move forward, work hard, live, laugh and love….
If you have children, and wonder sometimes if they hear you, if they really understand what you are trying to teach them, know this…. they are always watching, they are always listening and they are learning. They are your legacy, they are your gift to the world.
Thanks Pops, I hope I learned the lesson well….