To the point week of 6-16-11


SUNDAY IS FATHERS DAY and it’s one of those days where we all stand back and take a moment to thank our dads for all they’ve done for us and all they continue to do. I once heard a statistic (years ago, as you can tell by the data) that Mother’s Day saw the most long distance calls made.

Father’s Day was the day when the most collect long distance calls were made. (Note to kids: before everyone carried a phone, they were bolted to the wall and you could only go as far as the cord would let you. There was a time when you dialed an operator and asked to make a collect call, which meant that the person you were called would agree to pay for the call. That was back with stuff like disco and the dinosaurs.)

Anyway, dads far too often don’t get their fair share of the credit for raising good kids; and most of the time get far too much of the blame for raising bad ones. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in being a parent, it’s that it takes two very dedicated people to bring kids up in a solid home.

But just because there are two parents, it doesn’t mean that they are doing the same job.

As the father of three girls, and a person who grew up in a household with only brothers, my experience at being a dad came as “on the job” training. I didn’t know much about little girls, and I also didn’t know a wide range of things that I’ve discovered over the past 24 years:

– There are sections of toy stores that don’t contain trucks and cars and Lego blocks and bicycles. Heck, there are actually entire aisles of pink stuff.

While in those aisles, I have discovered that Barbie clothes cost more than Barbie dolls, which I’m sure is some sort of twisted racket devised by evil geniuses.

- As my daughters grew up, I discovered that I have the ability to stand for eternal lengths of time in front of fitting rooms in clothing stores. Should I ever be taken hostage and forced to stand for hours as punishment, I will simply laugh and tell my captors that I’ve got three daughters, I can stand in one spot for days.

While I’m at it, why doesn’t some progressive store put women’s fitting rooms in an area of the store where men don’t mind standing? They can stay in there for weeks if the room is in the middle of sporting goods or automotive supplies, because I’ve got something to look at.

Now? Those rooms are smack in the middle of areas of the store that men don’t want to think about, let alone stand in by themselves. I figure security has been summoned to that area to check out the “strange man hanging around intimates” on several occasions. In fact, I’m a little ashamed that I even know that there is an ‘intimates’ department.

– I’ve learned that girls usually grow out of ‘boy things’. No matter how long you coach little league teams or watch “Three Stooges” marathons, eventually the female comes out in them all. There’s still the random Batman mask or toy gun hidden somewhere in the basement, but we had to move those to make enough space for the rack to hold the prom dresses.

- I’ve learned that as my daughters get older, kisses move further up on my head.

When they were little, they’d kiss daddy; but as they grew the kisses moved to the cheek, then the forehead; and now I get smooched right on top of my head. A few more years and they can just wave as they go by.

– I’ve learned that, no matter how hard I try, they will always have a special bond with their mom that is greater than their bond with me. For all of the teams I’ve coached, the boyfriend breakups I’ve counseled them through, the appointments I’ve driven them to and the college visits I’ve accompanied them on; at the end of the day they’d still rather hang out with their mom.

Shopping with dad is no fun at all; but it’s a treat for each to shop and grab lunch with their mom. I don’t mind, but I do miss my “little girls”.

I hope in all of the things I’ve learned from them during their lives, they’ve also learned a thing or two from me.

Either way, Father’s Day this Sunday reminds me of just how lucky I am to be a dad; and that I’ve got three wonderful daughters whom I wouldn’t take the world for.


The Switzerland County “Relay for Life” event is tomorrow (Friday) at the Paul Ogle Riverfront Park, and even if you aren’t on a team, I encourage you to come down and support this important event.

Yes, there are lots of teams that are a part of the relay, but everyone is welcome to come down and buy some food and bid on some auction items and generally enjoy the evening. If you’ve got a loved one who is battling cancer or who fought hard against cancer, buy a luminary in honor or in memory of them. If you’ve never seen the luminary service, that alone is worth the trip down to the park.

Each luminary purchased puts a lighted container on the perimeter of the track that the teams walk around. In past years there have been about 800 of them, enough to circle the track completely. Once the sun goes down, the lights of the park are turned off, and the name of each person who had a luminary purchased in their honor or members is read.

It’s truly an emotional point in the relay, but it’s also a very important one. No matter how many people are in the park, it’s absolutely quiet with the exception of the names being read over the loudspeaker. People walk in silence around the course, stopping and reading the names of the containers and remembering those people who graced our lives, and continue to do so.

Every penny that has been raised by teams, and that will be raised on Friday night, goes to help find a cure for cancer, so take the time to come down and be a part of this event.


We hit another milestone tomorrow (Friday), as daughter Hilary goes to freshman orientation at Huntington University in Northern Indiana. With oldest daughter Abby now married and in college; and middle daughter Emily in Florida for the summer before returning to Western Kentucky University, we’re a mere couple of months from being “empty nesters”. I’m not sure how I feel about that, but I am sure that Hilary made a great decision with her college choice, and she can’t wait to get there and get started because she’s already made dozens of friends who will also be parts of the Class of 2015 this fall.

As my daughters move on with life; Saturday is a special day for my other “daughter”, as Emily Hehe marries Jared Schroeder. My daughter, Abby’s best friend, Emily spent a lot of time in our home growing up; and she will always have a very special place in the hearts of my wife and me. She’s marrying a truly great man, and I know that she and Jared will have many, many wonderful years together.

I wish them both a great blessing.