“Daddies have more influence over their children than they’ll ever know.”
– Julie Shackleford-Pitt, Monster Hunter Guardian
Monster Hunters series, by Larry Correia
When Julie says this, she is ruminating on how her own father influenced her, and how the things he taught her are still useful to her every day of her life. In particular, she’s meeting and shaking the hand of a man who may be able to assist her in a time of need. She shakes his hand firmly, strongly, in a way that inspires confidence, the way her father taught her. It seems like such a small thing, but it’s part of how she interacts with others, how she carries herself, and how she gains the help and loyalty of the people around her. It works.
A single lesson from her father, probably repeated many times, helped a little girl turn into a strong, capable, formidable woman.
That’s the sort of effect which fathers have on their children.
My dad has never been a perfect person, but he has always been a good man. He made mistakes, but he never mistreated me, or my sisters, or our mother. He never abused us, and never neglected us. On the contrary, he worked his butt off to provide us with very comfortable lives, including all the things I always took for granted. He has always lived the best he knows how, and he taught us by example. I regret that we did not always listen to him, but he certainly helped to shape us into fully functioning adults.
One of the many lessons my father taught me is the value of hard work, of truly earning an honest living. Naturally, as a spoiled child in a largely-prosperous society, I was pretty unwilling to learn that lesson, preferring to spend all my time reading, writing, playing games, or watching something on a screen. But he kept at it, and, in time, I learned. I learned by doing, and by watching him.
I often credit my mother for my love of mythology and the fantasy genre, as she introduced me to the myths my Viking ancestors believed at a very young age, but my love of storytelling and dramatic flair, I inherited from my father. He told us stories almost every night, including the adventures and misadventures of his youth, reading Grimm’s Fairy Tales to us, and others. There was one story he told us which I don’t remember much of, but I remember this moment where he dramatized how these men were sharpening their knives with a motion of his hands and saying, “ssssnik-ssssnik!” And people comment on my theatrical nature. 🙂
My father also taught me, by example, the value of integrity at all times and at every level of one’s life. He taught me how you endure terribly difficult times: by getting up each morning and going to work, doing what you know you need to in order to get by, and doing your best at it. He taught me that sometimes you have to get through the pains of life simply by enduring it, by moving forward without letting anything stop you, until you can get yourself to a better place. And he taught me that sometimes you just need to tell someone you love them, even if you’re not very good at it.
I love you, Dad.
Thank you for everything you have taught me, and tried to teach me.
Happy Father’s Day!