Listen to your dad

When I was young my dad knew everything.

As I grew older and became a teenager, my dad knew nothing.

It took me years — through growth, some pain, and ego-resizing to come to understand
My dad is human.

He is a smart, wonderful man who has amazing intentions, skills, fallibility, a huge heart, and has taught me so many things including what it is to be generous.

As I found and continue to find the middle ground between seeing dad as the superhero of my childhood and seeing dad as the “fuddy duddy” of my teenage years, I continue to learn to really listen to him.

This entails hearing what he (or anyone) says v. putting my own spin on it.  This year for his birthday I got some practice.

This year my dad turned 85. What do you get a dad who’s more interested in people than things? I spent years getting angry at his answer to my question:

“Dad, what do you want for your birthday?”

“Nothing honey”

My anger was rooted in the idea – MY idea that I give him something wonderful, he loves it, AND that he should TELL me what this is…  My Spin.

This year I decided to take him at his word.

…and yet, I still wanted to give him something …

Call it inner score keeping, and by God’s Grace I have an opinion How can I repay these beautiful souls who brought me up?

So I prayed willingly and the answer came … angel food cake with berries and an afternoon visit – yes.

There is more space in going with what I hear v. thinking I know what’s best. It brings a multitude of gifts when I’m open to it.

And with this new intention, when Tim and I passed a strawberry farm that very day there was a purpose to stop.

Gift #1 – Picking strawberries and sampling them along the way!

Gift #2 – Strawberries don’t travel well in a saddle bag of a motorcycle so I got to get creative. Salvage some and make strawberry whip with some others!

Gift #3 – Celebrating with dad and giving him what he’d asked for… no “thing”

In such a noisy world I forget about what matters. Thank you dad for the reminder and the prompt with your real reply of “nothing honey”…and learning to listen to it!

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