On this Father’s Day I wanted to say a special thanks to my father and a give a special nod to my brother Greg who was an amazing father. His children miss him terribly today and I’d like to say to all of you who are missing your dads that I’m sure they would be very proud of you and are loving you from heaven.But back to my dad. I have to hand it to him. He really took good care of our family and worked his butt off to make sure that we were secure and had a bright future. He is and always was very generous. With money, his time, and of course his advice—which I sometimes took but often ignored as a child. A lot of it stuck with me though and I’m glad for those life lessons.

One thing that really amazes me about my dad is that he grew up in the 50’s and 60’s when men were the ones that went out to have careers and be athletes and women were so limited in their choices and certainly not paid equally. Many women stayed home, which as a kid was great. But that is not an option for many today and many women want to have a career outside of the home. Having said that, in my dad’s time, it was all about the boys, not the girls. In fact, I laugh at some of the letters that my grandfather wrote to my parents. He would talk at length about passing on the legacy of our family to my brother and if I was mentioned at all it was an afterthought.

The funny thing is, I never once in my life thought that I could not do anything I wanted to do. I never once thought that my brother was getting more advantages than me or that he was favored. I never once thought that I wouldn’t go to college and get a career and be able to be a CEO or entrepreneur or doctor or Olympic athlete or anything else I could daydream about. You want to know why I never felt limited or second best in my family? Because my dad (and my mom) infused a belief in me that I could chase my dreams and be just as successful as my brother.

My dad left work early on many occasions to come see me play hockey, basketball, lacrosse, softball—even drove miles and miles and sat in damp pools for hours on end to watch me swim for 50 seconds. He was always so proud of me when I did well in school and encouraged my dreams of world dominance. Or at least Olympic or corporate dominance. My dad taught me the same lessons he taught my brother—work hard, be honest, think, be generous, be responsible, mow the lawn before it gets two feet high, read instructions, and go for your dreams.

Thanks dad. You came from a generation where women stayed in the kitchen and kept their opinions to themselves but you raised a woman of a new generation who never thought the impossible was impossible. I don’t know how you made that transition but I’m forever grateful.

To all you dads out there, as your kids, we look up to you, are protected by you, listen to your wisdom (for the most part) and love you. Thanks for being our dads.

1943 Guide to Hiring Women

Advertisements