JUNE 2018 www.katconstructionllc.com (612) 326-1122
Passing Down the Lessons of My Dad
G rowing up, I always looked up to my dad. To me, he was as big a hero as any of the huge athletes of the time, a constant, stoic presence in my life whom I knew the whole family could depend on. Though he was what you’d probably call the strong, silent type, he was always there for everyone he cared about. I remember a few Saturdays from my youth, when he suggested we go outside and toss the football; I’d call my friends and tell them to stay home, because I’d rather spend my time practicing my spiral with my old man. I was always impressed by the way he handled himself, his self-sufficient yet quietly compassionate personality keeping everything in control.
continue to accomplish. With Father’s Day fast approaching, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my kids, happy that they’ve turned out to be such good people. One day, back when we attended this class for parents of new preschoolers, something the teacher said struck me, and it’s stuck with me through all these years: “Even when you think your kids aren’t paying attention to you, they are. On a subconscious level, they pick up everything you do — and they’re going to imitate your behavior whenever they get a chance.” With that in mind, I tried to consciously set a good example from the very beginning. I did my best to provide guidance not so much by sitting them down in a chair and giving them some prewritten speech, but through the values with which I navigated my own life. Chief among these was the lesson my dad instilled in me so firmly as a kid: Hard work always pays off. There’s no doubt in my mind that, at the very least, that one nugget got through. Each of them is a go-getter, doing everything they can to get ahead and work as hard as they can for the people they serve. There were times when they were young that I worried I wasn’t spending enough time with them; I was so tied up in my work responsibilities that I struggled to carve out those key moments. But as soon as that worry appeared, I began to consciously make the time, building a relationship with my kids that’s lasted all the way up until now. Today, we’ll
My mom and dad many years ago
often go on hunting or fishing trips just like old times, just enjoying one another’s company in the great outdoors — though, of course, with the son that works in the KAT Construction office, I’m sure he’s probably sick of seeing my mug every single day. For Father’s Day, we’ll probably just get together with my two youngest sons and some extended family for a cookout. Each of us old guys will crack a couple beers and mull around, getting as much relaxation in as possible on our rare day off. Really though, the day is mostly a celebration of the fact that, despite me, my sons have turned out more than alright.
My oldest and youngest sons with my father
Though I’m probably a little more sarcastic than my dad was back then, I’ve always tried to teach my kids the same way my dad taught me. If nothing else, I wanted them to be able to grow up and look back on time spent with a father that they always knew cared, a man they could respect and count on if they ever ended up in trouble. Now that they’re all in their 20s, the jury’s still out on whether or not I succeeded, but there’s no doubt that I’m proud of my sons and all they
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