“Girls of Reddit, What is the Best Life Lesson Your Dad Taught You?”

On 24 January 2015, wee_man asked on AskReddit, “Girls of Reddit, what is the best life lesson your dad taught you?” Here are some replies:

1) glitzyjan wrote, “I answered a similar question recently. I lost my dad when I was ten, but here are some distinct things I remember him teaching me (and being thankful for them):

“An appreciation for nature. My father taught me to stop and watch a sunset, to feed a stray, to smell the flowers, to grow a garden. I cannot thank him enough for showing me this.

“He taught me empathy. My dad was a very caring man, and he taught me to help people who need it however I can. No matter what he was going through with his cancer, he always went out of his way to help others even if it physically hurt him to do so.

“He taught me to cook. He would have me get him ingredients from a very young age and [have me] put them in the bowl. This helped me not only learn to cook and bake, but it also preserved his recipes and they live on with me.

“He taught me about cars. My father was a mechanic in the military. He showed me how to change the oil, change the brake pads, check my tires, replace a belt, and change a flat. These are skills that I’ve found most girls do not learn, and I’m glad I have them at my disposal.

“He taught me to mow the grass, use tools, fix something broken. All the things one would associate with boys. He showed me girls could do it, too.

“He taught me that hard work is rewarded. He repeated this often during my life, and I sometimes lack patience but it is a truth. If you work hard and take pride in it, you will be rewarded.

“And finally he taught me love. When he passed away, it was early December. He knew he’d never make it to Christmas. On Christmas Eve, the FedEx guy came. He brought me presents from my dad. He had ordered them before he died. The message he sent touched my heart forever. He said to not be sad, it was ok to be happy and that my happiness in life would be his gift that year.”

Cestcalavie commented, “This is so touching … I lost my dad when I was 16, there isn’t one single day I don’t think about him and I dream of him very often … I can imagine how much you miss yours, too … He taught me to enjoy things around us, as simple as the fresh air. He taught me the importance of exercise and staying healthy. If we went on holiday somewhere, the first thing he’d do the next morning would be to go jogging and get to know the place. He also taught me to change tires (: … And wash cars. He’d keep his cars impeccable! … He taught me about friendship. He was always kind to new people he met, and made friends with many people, he’d invite friends over to our house for a meal almost every weekend. His death was very sudden and unexpected, so no time for goodbyes, but in a letter he wrote to me for my 15th birthday he said that no matter what I chose to do in life he’ll be proud of me and that the most important thing is to be happy.”

2) t2b123 wrote, “My dad really taught me that real love is when a man cares more about you than he cares about looking manly. My dad is a tough guy, he grew up riding motorcycles, he works as a welder, grilling, really into sports and hunting. He’s a man’s man. But all [the time I was] growing up, he was the one who painted my nails, helped me sew doll clothes, put curlers in my hair. He would make up little stories about my stuffed animals and act them out with little voices. He even dressed up with me every year for Halloween. If I was Dorothy, he was the Tin Man. If I was a Princess, he was Prince Charming. And he loved it! He was never afraid of his friends seeing him painted silver with a funnel on his head, if it meant that we could skip together singing ‘follow the yellow brick road.’ Now that I’m older, he will accompany me to plays and musicals I like, and he always dresses up nicely and treats it like it’s a fancy date. He’s showed me time and time again how important I am to him. A man’s image is often very important to him, but never let your daughter believe that it’s more important than she is.”

phil8248 commented, “My daughter married a guy who is just about perfect. You couldn’t order a better husband for your child if you had a catalog. My late wife and I were sitting in the living room reading one night and I just casually mentioned again how great it was that she had this man in her life because we didn’t have to fret about her. She’s independent and successful, but even empowered women can be stuck in dead-end marriages. Hers was just spectacular in every way and I marveled at this to my wife, telling her how good it made me feel. She turned and looked at me and simply said, ‘Well, girls pick husbands based on their relationship with their Dads.’ Easily the nicest compliment I’ve ever gotten.”

3) SkylineBear wrote, “My parents divorced when I was in 5th grade and I spent every weekend at my Dad’s place 45 minutes away from that point until I graduated. I have two older siblings who were already in high school and too busy to come along, so it was just him and me all weekend (by the time I was in HS [high school] my step-dad didn’t want me around so even if I wanted to stay I had to go). We would always go shopping Friday nights for the weekend, and plan meals we could make together (let’s try to make gumbo! Or let’s have a homemade pizza night, etc.), and usually we’d rent a video, too. In the summers, we would bike to the store and back. He was never the type of person to ‘teach lessons,’ I think. But, the fact that he drove an hour and a half every single weekend to pick me up (my mom refused to drive there), and spent every weekend with me — mostly just the two of us — was seriously a lesson in just showing up. Loyalty has always been a big thing for me, and that’s loyalty. I never wanted to move in with him because I wanted to stay with my friends, even though my siblings told me I should. I honestly should have, looking back.”

ThouShaltNotFart commented, “This is the best lesson to teach a child … that they are worthy of your time.”

For More Information: wee_man, “[Serious] Girls of Reddit, what is the best life lesson your dad taught you?” Reddit. 24 January 2015


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