Father’s Day Tribute
June is the month for Father’s Day — but it’s also the month for family vacations and road trips!
Whenever I plan a vacation with my family, I think back to all the trips I took as a kid. When I do, the first things to come to mind aren’t how magnificent the Grand Canyon looked, or the awesome power of Old Faithful, or even the rides at Disney World.
My memories are of all the little things. My memories are of my dad.
Now that I’m older, I know just how many “little things” my dad did for each and every family vacation, year after year after year. First, he would save up his hard-earned money throughout the year, so we could tour a far-off national park, visit some golden beach, ride the newest megacoaster, or learn more about our nation’s history. Then, he would obsessively plan every route we took, scrutinizing maps and atlases – this was in the days before GPS – so we would always take the shortest route, or the most scenic one. Next, he would teach us all how to pack the family car the right way, so we could fit in the most luggage.
Then the work really began.
When we were twenty minutes into our trip, and one of us called out, “Dad, I forgot my , he would turn around so we could retrieve it. Sometimes grudgingly, sometimes in good humor…but he would always turn.
He would stop for every bathroom break we needed to take, even if the last one was ten minutes earlier. He would tell dad jokes and sing funny songs all throughout the drive, just to keep our spirits up.
- He would drive all through the long night while the rest of us slept.
- He would wake up two or three hours earlier than everyone else, all to stand alone in the line for tickets to a guided tour or popular ride.
- He would teach us the names of the trees and animals we saw or point out distant wonders we would otherwise have walked right on by.
- He would carry us on his shoulders when we got tired.
- He would buy us that one thing in the gift shop we just had to have.
- When one of us said, “Look at me, Dad!” for the umpteenth time, he would always look.
- When we asked, for the millionth time, “Dad, when will we get there?” he would always answer – and then distract us with a comment like, “Hey, look at that funny cloud!”
- When we asked, for the billionth time, “Dad, what kind of bird/tree/rock is that?” he would quickly look up the answer as soon as we weren’t looking.
- When we would ask, for the gazillionth time, “Dad, how many stars are there in the sky?” he would answer, “A million billion gazillion.”
These are the things I remember from our family vacations. Not the grand sights or spinetingling thrills. I remember all the little things my dad used to do to make sure each and every one of us had a great time.
I remember my dad.
So, as another Father’s Day approaches, and another season of family vacations begins, we want to say,
Thanks for all the little things.
All million billion gazillion of them.
And from everyone here at Research Financial Strategies, we wish all fathers everywhere a