As Father’s day approaches, you may be wondering what pearls of wisdom to dish out to your children this year. They have probably heard all of your old standbys a million times. And those things your parents said, that you SWORE you would never say? Ha! You’ve said those a million times too.
Well, have no fear, my amazing readers! I grew up in a house full of strange sayings, and I think these are too good not to share with the Dad in your life. Now, courtesy of Newbie Grandpa (my Dad), here are some of the gems I grew up with, along with translations for those who are not related to me. Enjoy!
Some People are Just A**holes
This one made it’s first appearance when I was 7 years old. (I know, my mom was very pleased…not.) I had just gotten my first pair of glasses, and true to 90’s style, they were giant and super thick. Some kids on the playground had started to bully me about it. One day, I was pushed off the slide by one of the bullies and as I cried over my skinned knees, my Dad put his hand on my shoulder, knelt down and said, “Sweetie, some people are just a**holes.” Apparently I sniffed, nodded slowly and said “Okay, Daddy. I’m going to go play.” Alright, so the language is not ideal, but the message is actually important.
Allow me to Translate: What I think he was trying to say, is that no matter what you do, there will always be people who don’t like you. There will always be people who you don’t get along with and there will always be people who act like jerks. This is not about you. There is nothing wrong with you – it is all about them. You are still awesome, even if people are sometimes jerks.
There is No Sense Doing Something Half-A**ed
This one was popular at our house anytime we wanted to give up on something or quit a task before we had done our best work. When I wanted to quit soccer after the boys on the team refused to pass to girls, or when my brother was frustrated with a school project and just wanted to go play outside, this phrase was there. When my Dad was fixing something around the house, and we were bored waiting around but had to stay there to help hand him tools sporadically? “Daaaaad! When are we going to be doooonnnnne?,” we would whine. He would put down his measuring tape and say, “Listen, there is no sense in doing this half-a**ed.”
Allow me to Translate: First, for those unfamiliar, half-a**ed means doing something lazily, cutting corners or not doing things to the best of your ability. I think he was trying to tell us that anything worth doing is worth doing correctly. If not, you will just have to do it again. So, it is worth taking a few extra minutes or extra effort to do things the right way. This one is the real deal folks because I found myself saying this to a student once. (Don’t worry, he was 18.)
So, quick summary: don’t do things half-a**ed and you will certainly be proud of yourself later. Also, that fence you built won’t fall down and hurt the angelic children playing on the other side. (Probably with puppies. Think of the puppies!)
Look around: Do you See Your Mother?
After working at home with us for several years, my mom went back to full-time work when we were in school. My parents used an carefully scheduled mix of home daycare and working opposite shifts as child care until we were old enough to stay on our own. My brother and I would challenge my Dad on the way he was making lunch, or braiding my hair or getting us ready for school. It wasn’t the way Mom did it! It probably drove him crazy, but he stayed calm, pretended to look around and said, “Look around. Do you see your mother?” We would dutifully look around, and shake our heads. “Okay, then we will do it this way,” he would say.
Allow me to Translate: This one is a good life lesson. What he was trying to tell us, using audience participation, is that different people are going to do things different ways. Mom and Dad may make grilled cheese differently, but it still tastes yummy. Your parents and your teachers may have different approaches to teaching you things, but you will still learn. There is no one way to do things, and successful people adapt to change.
Well, those are some of my favourites. What words of wisdom from Dad are you trying to avoid telling your kids?