BURGDORF BEAUTY INSIDER
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THE MOST IMPORTANT FATHERLY LESSONS
WHAT I LEARNED FROM MY DAD AND STEPDAD I always say that the best thing I’ve ever done in life is become a father. My kids are the lights of my life, and while they continually bring me joy beyond measure, being a parent is still the hardest job in the world. I say that as a board-certified surgeon who holds patients’ futures in my hands on a daily basis. Being a parent is harder.
Some days, I could get all four kids ready — two of them in a stroller and the other two on bikes — and spend hours in the park playing without even the hint of a meltdown. Other days, it seems like I couldn’t even make one kid happy. In a job that causes you to face both your successes and failures daily, you’re forced to look for ways to grow. In that way, the most stressful but rewarding part of my life is figuring out how I can be a better dad. Fortunately, I had the propensity for being a caring and doting father instilled in me long ago with the help of my dad and my stepdad. Both of these men played an important role in my life. They were excellent role models, and they each taught me distinct lessons. The most valuable lesson I learned from my dad was to look at everything in life from a different angle. I remember, for example, that he taught me to use my nondominant hand and foot when playing basketball and soccer. He always said that if I could drive to the hoop or goal using my left hand or foot, I’d have an advantage over defenders, which of course, ended up being completely true. While this example gave me an edge in sports, it exemplifies
something bigger. By reminding me to alter my perspective, he was teaching me to stand out from the majority. As a result, one of my mantras now is “Don’t be vanilla,” and I strive to live by it every day.
sunset. He taught me the value of having an arduous work ethic, which involved attacking the day with tenacity rather than letting it merely happen to you. Armed with these two lessons — and hundreds of others they shared with me over the years — I’ve taken to raising my kids with the same intention. I can’t thank my dad and my stepdad enough for all they did for me as a child and all they continue to do for me as an adult. To them and to all the other guys out there trying to be the best dads they can be, I’m right there with you. Happy Father’s Day! We got this.
My stepdad taught me many important lessons as well, but the one that stands out the most was to start the day with the sun. Growing up, I watched him work harder than perhaps anyone I’d ever met. He would head to work as the sun rose, and he’d often return home long after “IN THAT WAY, THE MOST STRESSFUL BUT REWARDING PART OF MY LIFE IS FIGURING OUT HOW I CAN BE A BETTER DAD.”
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