Things My Father Taught Me


Just before Father’s Day I was asked by a blog that shall remain anonymous to contribute a post about what my father has taught me. Good, bad, everything in between. The blogger failed to post my story and a few others (much to our dismay), but I thought the post might be worth sharing here.


My dad and I have always had a bit of an up and down relationship, but he’s still managed to teach me quite a bit. Some from things he did, some from things he didn’t do. Some from actions speaking louder than words, and some from the opposite. There’s a lot to be said for that point when you realize your parents are people, they have flaws and misgivings and regrets. That point of acceptance changed my life.

Always be yourself, whatever that means to you. Be the girl who gets dropped off at school in the 5th grade on the back of a motorcycle. Don’t be afraid to mix lunch meats on a sandwich. Follow your dreams. Sometimes too far. Learn to make a great breakfast and master the grill. It’s okay to be the quiet one in the background, but speak your mind when it tells you to. Learn to drive a stick shift, preferably from someone with patience. Learn to be patient. Everyone has regrets, turn them into lessons. Age is just a number, it’s how you feel inside that counts. Don’t worry about what other’s think, you’re the one who has to live with you. (How they feel is a different story.) Don’t be afraid to make new memories, just don’t forget the old ones. Do anything for a friend or family member. Spring for the quality alcohol, your hangover will thank you. Be affectionate with your children, even if your parents weren’t with you. Old habits die hard. Fix the wrongs in your life while you still have the luxury of time. It really is the thought that counts.

  • Amy

    July 27, 2011 at 8:38 am Reply

    Beautiful! So glad you shared this.

  • Sandi

    July 27, 2011 at 8:44 am Reply

    Really love this post. I completely relate to your first paragraph – well said. Good lessons too! Also? That photo is so great.

  • tobe | because it's awesome

    July 27, 2011 at 9:47 am Reply

    as someone with a similar father-daughter relationship, this was a very touching post. thanks for sharing!

  • Amy@OldSweetSong

    July 27, 2011 at 9:57 am Reply

    Beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

    And dang you were cute! (still are).

  • glynis

    July 27, 2011 at 10:01 am Reply

    Love. Thanks for sharing.

  • adele

    July 27, 2011 at 10:25 am Reply

    Fab photo & such words of wisdom!

  • Meredith

    July 27, 2011 at 10:28 am Reply

    I’m glad you posted this! Today was a good day for me to read this, definitely hits home.

    • Kelly

      July 27, 2011 at 10:34 am Reply

      Thrilled that you’re all taking something away from it, not the easiest post to share. xo

  • PicklePetunia

    July 27, 2011 at 10:37 am Reply

    LOVE IT!
    Could be a perfect poster.

  • Melissa

    July 27, 2011 at 11:01 am Reply

    Great, great words, Kelly!

    I think all of our dads are like yours teaching us by example & sometimes teaching us by mistake.

  • Samantha

    July 27, 2011 at 12:33 pm Reply

    What a great post. I’m totally a daddys girl, and fathers are simply the best.

    And the photo is so cute!

  • tiffany

    July 27, 2011 at 2:21 pm Reply

    this is seriously awesome.

  • claire@gibsonking

    July 27, 2011 at 8:21 pm Reply

    great picture, thanks so much for passing all those dad lessons along!

  • Lulu

    July 27, 2011 at 10:12 pm Reply

    Thanks for sharing this and a bit about yourself in the process.

  • Cariann

    July 27, 2011 at 10:15 pm Reply

    Such a great read, thanks for sharing 🙂 I loved that you were dropped off on a motorcycle, I’m sure all the boys were jealous!

  • fine little home

    July 28, 2011 at 12:15 am Reply

    wicked awesome photo! and no kidding, getting dropped off on a motorcycle is so bad ass!
    i completely agree with you on needing to realize your parents are people too, it is such a relief when you do and opens up how you accept yourself. thanks for sharing such an intimate relationship with us.

  • Addie

    July 28, 2011 at 6:54 am Reply

    this makes me miss my dad…

  • Rosie

    July 28, 2011 at 8:09 am Reply

    Thank you…honesty, insight, emotion and an awesome vintage photo- the perfect blog post.

  • christine

    July 28, 2011 at 3:29 pm Reply

    wow this is a really really nice post. I can’t stop reading it. you are a really lovely writer

    • Kelly

      July 28, 2011 at 3:31 pm Reply

      Thank you so much, Christine!

  • stephanie

    July 29, 2011 at 10:58 am Reply

    love this post. thank you for sharing.

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