Ken Beaton: Who doesn’t want to save some money?
Sunday is Father’s Day. If you haven’t gotten around to buying a Father’s Day card for your dad, I can save you about $5. Instead of buying a card, sit down with a pencil and pad of paper or in front of your laptop computer to write a positive letter to your dad. No pressure, this is where you express your “soft side.”
I don’t want to hear you whine you don’t know how to start Dad’s letter. Here’s a suggestion. “Dear Dad, This Father’s Day, I want to give you a gift you’ve never received from me, until now.”
I want you to think way back to when you were a kid. You had a two-wheel bike with training wheels. You decided, “I don’t want training wheels on my bike! I want to be ‘a big kid’ and ride with all the other kids who don’t have training wheels on their bike.”
Even though it had been a long time, ages, since you spoke to your dad in a civil tone. You reached deep inside yourself and used your pleasant voice to ask, “Dad, could you take the training wheels off my bike, please?” Your dad smiled and took his crescent wrench from his toolbox. In no time the training wheels were off your bike.
Your dad was on the left side of your bike. He was even with the rear wheel as he steadied your bike while you got on the seat with your feet on each pedal. He told you, “OK, start to pedal.” As you pedaled, dad was walking with a firm grip on your bike. As you picked up speed, your dad was walking faster, which became a jog.
As mentally painful as it was to your dad, he let go of your bike without you knowing. (The most anxious moment for a parent, letting go). This was your first “free flight,” but you thought dad was still steadying your bike. It was the same feeling you experienced being in your mother’s womb before you were born, no worries and no responsibilities.
After one or two wobbly episodes, you realized dad wasn’t holding your bike. You were similar to a young bird flying for the first time. It was as if there was no gravity. At the end of the street, you made your first gradual turn to see your parents cheering while jumping up and down for you as you returned to them.
Maybe you remember when your male date came to your home to pick you up for the senior prom. You were still upstairs with your mom almost ready to make your grand entrance. Your dad answered the door. He placed his right arm on your date’s shoulders as he whispered something into your date’s left ear. Instantly your date’s face turned chalk white as he said, “Sir, you don’t have to worry about me. I’ll have your daughter home at 2 a.m. on the dot.”
If you’re a male, you asked, “Dad, do you have any advice you can share with me before my prom?” He smiled as he said, “Son, the most important words you can say over and over again are, “Yes, dear,” and “I’m sorry. Please forgive me.”
With a puzzled look on your face, you asked, “Really, Dad?”
Your dad looked deep into your eyes and said, “When you’re wrong, man up and admit it to her. Otherwise, you’re in a new argument. Admit that you’re wrong. Because you’ll soon you’ll realize, your date or your wife is the ‘Secretary of War.’ Make peace, not war.”
Now, it doesn’t matter if you’re a male or female. When you give your dad the envelope with the gift of you in that envelope, give your dad a hug.
If you never had a positive relationship with your dad. I want you to consider this statement: When you forgive another person, you become free. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Remember, when you point your index finger at someone, you have three fingers pointing toward you.
Either visit or call your dad Sunday. When he either opens his door or answers his phone, start singing Stevie Wonders’ song, “I just called to say I love and I mean it from the bottom of my heart.” If your dad asks, “What, are you crazy?” Respond, “I’m crazy for the best Dad in the whole world!”
This could be the first day of a new relationship with your dad. Like the lawyers say in their TV ads, “Take the first step.”