There is an old saying that any man can be a “Father”, but it takes a real man to be a “Dad”. The meaning behind that is that a man is part of his children’s lives and helps shape their child’s future.
Asking the guys around the Men’s Shed about the things tales, the tips, and the morals that their father taught them is fascinating to see the differences and similarities of what was important to men to give their children.
“Mind your tongue in front of a lady,” Jack shared. “That was a big one with my old man. No matter if the woman swears like a sailor you keep it above board,” he continued. Jack went on to explain that it was such an important thing with his father that if Jack was in trouble and his father was reading him the “riot act” as soon as his mother would enter the room the tone would change. “I used to think ‘You beauty’ as mum walked into the room, but Dad’s eyes would let me know it wasn’t over,” Jack concluded.
For Isaac life with his father was strained as he was an introvert. Isaac said “Dad just kept to himself. Never said a lot. If you got anything over a one-word reply, he was feeling chatty. But I remember on the day of my wedding he pulled me aside and said ‘Life is beautiful, never forget to acknowledge it.’ Thinking he was rather chatty, I said ‘That’s the most you’ve ever said to me, Dad.’ He just smiled and said ‘Let your actions do the talking, son.’ It was then that it dawned on me that I had never doubted that he loved me or was proud of me. He showed us without saying a thing.”
Sam said that the family always laughed as his father’s advice. “My dad had these sayings that we are all 100-percent sure he made up. He would swear up and down that they were real ones, but no one had ever heard them before,” Sam shared. “My favourites that I still use today are ‘If your wife is mad at you and you don’t know why to tell her that’s something her mother would do. It will make her madder, but at least now you know why she’s mad.’ It’s the best worst advice you could get.” All the boys laughed at that, and Sam continued “You like that one, this one will get you. ‘A real man always wears a jacket to a social gathering, so that he can take it off just before it’s his shout so people will think he already shouted.’ I don’t know what that mean, but it made perfect sense to him, and he said it all the time.”
No matter what your father shared with you, it helped shape you into who you are today. So for the good pieces of advice, and some of the rubbish ones that make us laugh, the blokes from the Men’s Shed say “Thanks, Dad.”