John Nix: A salute to all dads
It's better to write about something we know little or absolutely nothing about. In doing so we are forced to research and actually learn the subject, then convey facts and/or opinion to the reader. I know a little about politics, yet not enough to be an authority; a little about boxing, enough to know my limitations; quite a bit about my land surveying, enough to know technology doesn't change the core responsibility of the profession, to protect the interest of the public and the integrity of land boundaries.
I know more about being a Dad, not just a Father, with room for growth of course! It brings unbridled joy to my heart to watch my children venture into the world, handle their own problems, and even teach me a few things. They know they have the option to give old Dad a call when struggling with a decision or problem. I am almost certain there is no deeper love than that between parent and a child. It is immeasurable.
How many of you have received this call? "Dad, so.... my car is doing this thing". Helping my kids become critical thinkers prepares them for life's challenges by not fixing the problem but allowing them to think through the problem. I can honestly say that my youngest daughter couldn't find the radiator in her car until it overheated one day. Same with the battery, checking the oil with the dip stick, and so on.
Being a Dad has afforded me the opportunity to be a grandfather, as well. I am Papa John, the one that takes the grand boys to work with him. They actually work too! Learning the value of work at an early age is a wonderful thing. But the simple pleasures are even better. Fishing, shooting, eating a good home cooked meal together are just a few. Grandchildren are different because as some point... you can give them back!
I cherish the times growing up when my Dad and I would go to beach fishing in the surf or off the pier. Memories of taking the ferry over from Cape Carteret to Emerald Isle are ingrained in my mind. At the time there was very little development on that end of the island. There was usually sand blown across the road so Dad would always let a little air out of the tires so we wouldn't get stuck in that old Chevy. I was just a little guy eager to learn. My Dad freely passed on his knowledge then and even today. I still rely on his wisdom and I am very fortunate to talk to him daily.
My Dad is the best man I know. He has always been there for me through thick and thin. There were some critical times in my life that without his words of encouragement or just his physical presence, I would have given up on myself. He taught me it's okay to fail because that only makes us stronger and wiser. But he also taught me, in his own words, "Nobody remembers number two ". He spoke those words at just the right time making winning my only option.
So, I salute all Fathers, but especially Dads. As Dads, we have an awesome responsibility entrusted to us by our Creator. Father's Day is a set aside as a day of appreciation. Let it also serve as a reminder that there's always room for improvement. We can always be better human beings and better Dads. Happy Father's Day!