The Quest of Fatherhood: Fun and Avoiding Parasites

 

Children learn to smile from their parents.

~Shinichi Suzuki

children learn to smile parents

See what I’m teaching my kids?

 

I’m simply passing on my version of the funny I learned growing up–thanks in big part to my dad.  He is a master at telling a funny story, and watching him, I learned the value in being able to get people to smile, to laugh and to share joy.

And I learned other things.

Growing up, my dad was big on safety.  He made us wear sunscreen (thank you Dad!), and after a sudden stop in the car, he always threw out an arm in front of whoever sat in the passenger seat–even after our car had seat belts.  Plus, he did not allow us out of the house without shoes.

No skipping around barefoot for me.

Why?

Because of hookworms.

You see those little suckers could burrow into tender kid soles and make their way up and  . . .  well, I don’t remember the rest.  He had me at hookworm.  It was all I needed to know–and believe me when I tell you, I had the softest, callous-free feet in my neighborhood!

I have done zero research on hookworms, so I cannot tell you if this is true.  The only thing I know for sure is that as a parent, protecting my kids is of utmost importance.  I will never forget the first time my husband and I left our kids home alone.  On one hand it was exciting that they were finally old enough, but as we moved to walk out the door, my husband turned around and said:

No eating! 

Because apparently as I showed my oldest the list of phone numbers, my husband had worst case scenarios running through his mind.  By decreeing no food, he felt he eliminated the choking scenario.

 

 “There’s a lot of ugly things in this world, son. I wish I could keep ’em all away from you. That’s never possible.”

~Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird

 

So maybe it’s not possible, but dads will try.  Because like moms, dads like to dispense advice too:

 

“This is life.  So go and have a ball. Because the world don’t move to the beat of just one drum. What might be right for you may not be right for some. You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have … my opening statement. Sit, Ubu, sit. Good dog.”

~Peter Griffin, Family Guy

 

You never want your kids to see you scared. You want to be that rock that they grab a hold of in a stormy sea. Actually, a rock would sink. So a floating rock.

~Phil Dunphy, Modern Family

 

Dad = floating rock.  Oh, and let’s not forget dads can be FUN:

 “This is no longer a vacation. It’s a quest. It’s a quest for fun.”

~Clark Griswold, National Lampoon’s Vacation

 father's day dad advice _opt

Me, my dad and one of my sisters.  It’s possible she’s checking the ground for hookworms.

 

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!

 

I’d love to know–what is your favorite Father’s day gift to give or get?  

Carry Weapons of Minimal Destruction and Other Motherly Advice

 

When your mother asks, “Do you want a piece of advice?” it’s a mere formality.  It doesn’t matter if you answer yes or no.

You’re going to get it anyway.

― Erma Bombeck

 

Growing up I got great advice from my mom.  I’m sure of it.

However at the moment, all I can think about is the time she told me to always carry a hat pin when riding a city bus.  You know, in case of unsavory strangers deciding to get a little too close.

It was advice she dispensed for my safety.  You see once I hit the 7th grade, I liked to go to the mall.  A lot.  I didn’t ride a bus there and I’d never owned a hat pin, but maybe my mom was worried about me going without her.  So she offered up a quick tidbit from the stores of her own immigrant mother’s wisdom stash.  The hat pin was a reflex.

hat pin weapons of destruction_opt

 Hat pins, weapons of minimal destruction.

 

She quickly amended the advice to this:

Stay away from strangers a.k.a. unsavory sorts.  If need be, act a little crazy to encourage them to stay away.

Or at least that’s how I remember it.  The mistakes in this advice are all mine, but you get the gist–she wanted me to be safe.

Because that’s what moms do.

They advise you:

 “Do not eat chips out of a communal bowl.  You might as well stick your hand in a toilet.”

~Lorelai Gilmore, Gilmore Girls

 

They love you:

buffy vampire slayer joyce summers

“I know you’re afraid. I know the world feels like a hard place, sometimes. But you’ve got people who love you. Your dad and I, we have all the faith in the world in you. We’ll always be with you. You have got a world of strength in your heart. I know you do. You just have to find it again. Believe in yourself.”

~Mrs. Summers to Buffy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

 They teach you (and maybe humble you):

dorothy and sophia petrillo

 “Jealousy is a very ugly thing, Dorothy. And so are you, in anything backless.”

~Sophia Petrillo, Golden Girls

 

And okay sometimes they confuse you:

mom daughter Portokalos advice

“Don’t play with the food! When I was your age, we didn’t have food!”

~Maria Portokalas, My Big Fat Greek Wedding

 

But it’s wisdom from a (longer) life lived.  And it’s meant to be a good thing.

Because they want you to be happy.

Oh and that reminds me of another pearl to share.  Here’s the first stanza of the song my mom used to sing to pull a smile out of us when we were having the mopes:

Nobody Likes Me (Guess I’ll Go Eat Worms) 

Nobody likes me, everybody hates me,
I think I’ll go eat worms!
Big fat juicy ones,
Eensie weensy squeensy ones,
See how they wiggle and squirm!

 mom me bridget dan_opt

Happy Mother’s Day!

What is your favorite bit of motherly wisdom?