What’s Something You’ve Learned from Your Dad?

Mom and Dad in Sicily

Father’s Day is coming up in a few days, so I thought I’d mention an attribute about my father that came to mind recently when I was giving myself a haircut.

When I was growing up, Dad cut my hair every few months through middle school and high school. I’d sit on a stool in the garage as he’d use an electric razor (and scissors, when necessary) to give me a haircut. He had a steady hand and a perfectionist’s eye.

After each haircut, I would vacuum hair off the concrete and myself as Dad cleaned the razor. This is what made me think of him recently after I finished giving myself a trim. Dad wanted that razor to last for decades, so every time he used it, he would do his best to meticulously return it to its original condition.

He treats everything like this: Nothing is disposable to Dad, even in an age where most things aren’t made to last very long.

Growing up, I’d go through soccer cleats every 2 years. But every time after Dad plays soccer–which he does almost every weekend–he sits down for 15 minutes and brushes, wipes, washes, and oils his cleats. He told me almost guiltily on the phone the other day that he only got 8 years out of his last pair.

I’m not my father. If something breaks, I rarely try to fix it–I’ll just buy a new one. I rarely spend the time and care to keep anything in peek condition–I don’t have my father’s patience.

But I think I would have been a lot more careless were it not for my dad’s example. That came to mind as I looked at my electric razor the other day. It was clogged with hair, and all I had was a teensy brush. But I took the time to clean the razor. It’s not good as new, but it’s close.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad! Thank you


6 Responses to “What’s Something You’ve Learned from Your Dad?”

  1. Candy Mercer says:

    I bet you treat your games well! You fold that board carefully, you bag those components correctly! You don’t seem like a sleever and I know you store games flat (from pics) but you still care…

    I will point out in your favor, you are extremely busy.

    Happy Father’s Day!

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      Candy: The gamer in me treats my games well, though the publisher in me sometimes just sees cardboard. 🙂

  2. Frank Hamrick says:

    My dad used to tell me that you should keep both hands on the steering wheel while driving. He fussed about one-armed drivers who had one arm hanging out the window or on an arm rest. He used to say, ‘You never know when a tire will blow, or an animal or child will run out onto the road, or a car will veer into your path. I don’t always practice it, but I seldom drive on the interstate without remembering his words and his actions (he practiced what he preaches) – and make sure both hands are on the steering wheel.

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      Frank: I’m all about 10 and 2! Though I’ve heard that it may not even be the recommended method any longer.

  3. Lovely article and sentiment. My dad taught me to stand up for myself without being agressive, how to cut short telemarketers without being rude and to walk with my head high 🙂

  4. Joseph E. Pilkus III says:

    My father taught me a few things which have served me exceptionally well. First, Chess…from the time he taught me (age 6), to the time he passed away, I never beat him 2-out-of-3 games. He was a fantastic player who had watched the Masters play and read quite a bit in his youth. Second, learning how to tie a tie…amazingly I had a chance to pay it forward in Officer’s Training when I had the opportunity to teach this skill to nearly a dozen classmates! Finally, a love of games. He would tell me…your mother will make sure you have clothes, but I’ll make sure you always get a game at Christmas. When he passed away, my folks were together at that point for nearly 40 years, and my mom makes sure that I get a game at Christmas.

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