As we approach the holiday season, we celebrate and remember the importance of family. One of the most significant, special members of a family is a father. Dads serve faithfully in their roles as caregivers, mentors, playmates, providers, advice-givers, guiding forces………the list goes on and on. In order to honor these incredibly special family leaders, here are some tributes to all of the “dear old dads” of the world!
Here is a wonderful essay written by a high school senior as he prepared to head off to college:
“As the fortunate human race we are graced with the five senses of sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste. Taste and smell are our only two senses that allow us to sample the chemicals in our environment for information. These senses are also fairly unique in that they are incredibly interactive with our memories. A taste or scent from a person’s past can trigger the cognitive process in which an alarming amount of vivid memories flood the mind; almost permitting that person to experience everything over again during the brief moments of stimulus of their sensory glands.
My most memorable and stimulating of meals would have to be a turkey sandwich and a root beer. I try to enjoy this dynamic combination as often as I can, for when I do I am transported back in time. With every bite or deep inhale I can still feel the tranquil reservoir winds kiss my face, I can still smell the Styrofoam cup filled with worms and loose earth placed just below my dangling little feet, and I can still hear the triumphant call of the eagles that nest in the surrounding canopy. I am at peace.
Every young boy has that one hobby or activity that they enjoy with their father while growing up. To some it’s having a football catch or putting together model cars, and to others it’s playing checkers or going swimming. However my dad and I, our thing was fishing. Every weekend, in all types of weather we would be out in our row boat with our root beer and turkey sandwiches on the local reservoir. Relaxed and content, we had successfully escaped from the stresses of our world for the time being.
This must have been what was to appealing to my father, for at my young age many everyday stresses were not of concern to me. Back then what I loved the most about our fishing excursions was the obvious giddy feeling I got whenever either of us would feel a nibble or reel in a catch,(regardless of its size), and the dazzling stories that my father would share with me of his childhood. However, now I am able to put things into perspective and realize that fishing with my father all those years ago had instilled in me many life lessons that I still carry with me and live by today. I acquired a deep sense of optimism from the constant acts of trial and error. Whether it was re-tying a broken line or securely baiting a hook, I was taught to embrace all of my failures, no matter how minor they seemed to be. To reassure me that there was always a bright side to things my father would say “You can’t succeed if you’re afraid to fail.”, and still to this day I do my best to live by these words. I gained patience from the countless hours I spent sitting behind a rod just to reel in debris or muck from the reservoir floor.
I developed a keen attention to detail by observing my father’s every move, because in my eyes he was the best fisherman on the planet. I established a growing appreciation for the environment and curiosity for marine life, which still grows within me and is one of the driving forces behind my ambitions of becoming a marine biologist. Finally and most importantly, the fishing trips that I took with my father instilled in me a strong sense of perseverance. Maybe it was that he never let me get down on myself when we had an off day. Or maybe it was that he always made me “Keep on reelin”, even when the fish was twice my size and ready to pull me under with it.
Whatever it was that my dad did, it worked. In my life I’ve had some fairly enormous fish on my line. The biggest thus far definitely came along with the passing of my father during the summer before entering high school. I easily could have let this massive fish pull me under to drown. I could have let my grades slip, I could have stopped caring, and I could have given up as many 15 year old kids had done before me in similar circumstances. But I didn’t. I persevered. I maintained my good grades, I maintained myself image, and I reeled in that behemoth of a fish onto my boat and stared in directly in the eyes.
I know in college and for the rest of my life I am going to come across fish that want to pull me under just the same. I know that sometimes its going to feel like reeling in a shark with a shoelace. What separates me from the rest is that I am going to “Keep on reelin”, and if my line snaps, I’m going to unlace my other shoe, and cast out, waiting for another bite. I have my father to thank for this.”
This video tells, in a fun way, just what being a dad is all about!
- Here is another IMK post that tells about a truly amazing father-son relationship.
- This video shows the special bond between fathers and their daughters!
Topics for Discussion:
- How many people do you know who are dads? Don’t forget grandfathers……they’re dads too!
- What is your favorite thing about your dad?
- Today, make sure you tell your dad just how much you love and appreciate him!
- Visit the National Fatherhood Initiative website to find out how you can help support dads everywhere!
- Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for elementary school students.
- Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for middle school students.