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Cornelius News

Father’s Day: Advice to kids from a Modern Dad

Wishful thinking in the Show household

By Jon Show. My high school coach died in January, and for the first time in 25 years I dug out the bin under the stairs that my mom saved from my childhood.

In it were trinkets from family trips, trophies, newspaper clippings and report cards. There were things that jogged fond memories and things that I stared at for five minutes and had zero recollection what they were or why I saved them.

I also found chicken scratch notes from my dad, who left his motivational words on yellow legal pads the morning before big games. I would read some of this notes and later toss them in a drawer. Others I would put in my pocket and later that night tuck them into my cleats or high tops for reasons I can’t recall.

The tradition of not listening

I guess one of the great ironies in life is that dads give good advice but you don’t realize it until you have your own kids who also don’t listen to your advice.

On to the annual Father’s Day column full of advice that my kids need but won’t read or heed.

—When someone asks you to do something, do it without being asked twice. I know this is nearly impossible as a kid, but as an adult, accountability is a dying art form.

—You’re never the smartest person in the room, regardless of how dumb you think everyone else in the room is. There is no such thing as a smartest person. I know bankers who can’t change a light bulb and I know electricians who can’t calculate interest. Who’s the dumb one?

—Don’t listen to people who try to temper your dreams. But at some point you have to decide to make sacrifices to pursue your dreams, otherwise what’s the point of having them?

—People who walk around all day acting like the entire world is sunshine and rainbows are often the saddest on the inside.

—If you wake up in the morning and think the day is going to suck there’s 100% chance you’ll be right. Open your eyes. Put two feet on the ground. And go.

—Speaking of go, hustle is another dying art form. There is so much in this world that you don’t have control over, but attitude and effort aren’t on that list. Hustle doesn’t take brains and it doesn’t take talent. It takes attitude and effort.

—Pay attention to the people who talk behind your back and then keep your back turned to them. Anyone who feels the need to spend energy trying to tear you down is the one who’s broken.

—Respect your elders but don’t always listen to everything they say – including me. Their opinions are shaped from a lifetime of experiences – good and bad – and there’s no reason to blindly apply their opinions to your life.

—Keep staring at the clouds and trying to decide what they resemble. The sky will always be more interesting than whatever garbage you find on YouTube.

You’re weird, I’m weird

You’re both fairly unique kids and I don’t mean that in a my-kids-are-better-than-your-kids manner. You’re weird. I’m weird. Mom is kind of weird. Weird is good. Never forget that. Society will try to pull the weird out of you at every turn and make you normal. Normal is boring.

Despite my best intentions, I will say and do things that you hate or that make you sad. There’s no instruction book for parenting and I’m trying my best. Just please always know that I’m rooting for you harder than anyone has ever rooted for anything.

That said, when we’re at soccer games and basketball games and lacrosse games and whatever else, please know that my silence isn’t because I’m not paying attention or don’t want you to succeed. I just don’t understand the point of screaming at you or the referees.

Pick up pooch poop

Be the kind of person who picks up your dog’s poop when it’s dark outside and no one is watching.

You only need to do team building events if you’re a bad teammate or you’ve surrounded yourself with bad teammates.

Each of you is capable of achieving a certain grade and that’s all we expect from you. If your best effort produces As, then strive to get As. If your best effort produces Bs or Cs then strive to get Bs or Cs. But we expect your best effort, always.

I continue to do goofy (embarrassing?) things in public because you still laugh 25 percent of the time. I promise I’ll stop when you stop laughing but until that moment occurs I’m going to keep skipping to the bus stop while singing the Underpants Song to the tune of the 1960s Spiderman theme song.

“Unduh pants. Unduh pants. WhyAmINotWearingAny UNDUH PANTS!”

On a related note I could use some new socks and underwear for Father’s Day. And Happy Father’s Day Dad – in hindsight you gave great advice.

Take us out Spidey!


Jon Show lives in Robbins Park with his wife, who he calls “The Mother of Dragons,”  and their 10-year-old son is “Future Man” and their 7-year-old daughter is “The Blonde Bomber.” Their dog is actually named Lightning.