Growing up, my Dad drove a van. A proud, long-time owner of vans since the late ’80s, Dad dropped me off and picked me up at little league games, school dances, and friends’ houses in a massive white Chevy Van. The van had a surprising amount of zip under the hood. It also featured a big, sofa-esque backseat and a removable middle console table between the middle passenger seats. Our family dubbed it “The Landshark” because it was pretty much the consumer family vehicle equivalent to shuttling around our rural Pennsylvania town in a 747 Jumbojet.
Sitting in the front of my Dad’s van as a child and a teenager was like riding in the co-pilot’s seat of an airplane cockpit. The seats were huge and towered above the road, offering a sweeping view of the surroundings from the passenger seat. This made calling “shotgun” extra special on family road trips to the beach or camping.
My Dad and I talked a lot when I rode up-front. We still do, but now it’s back-and-forth from the train station on my infrequent visits home from the city instead of between basketball practices or piano lessons.
Looking back, the front seat of my Dad’s van was a pew and the driver’s seat a pulpit. I absorbed a gospel of fatherly wisdom while being shuttled between whatever life-enriching activity I was involved in at the time. In the spirit of Father’s Day, I thought I’d share some of those lessons I learned from the front-seat over the years.
Happy Father’s Day to all dads, everywhere.
50. The most special bond you’ll ever have with someone comes from picking them up and dropping them off at places.
49. Skinning your knee after taking the training wheels off your bike is part of the process.
48. Listen to what someone has to say before opening your mouth.
47. Tell the truth or learn the hard way.
46. If trash-talk and being a wiseass is the cut of your jib, it will get you punched in the face often.
45. Keep it simple, stupid; Stuffing your writing with fluffy superfluous adjectives and long run-on sentences doesn’t make what you have to say any more meaningful. Everyone needs an editor.
44. Even if a turd is speckled with gold, it’s still a turd.
43. It is possible to explore your smorgasbord of interests and passions AND have health insurance at the same time.
42. It is a biological fact that women gossip.
41. The fundamentals are important. Be it playing basketball or building a model rocket, knowing why things work the way they work is important.
40. If you need it, there is no bad time for a nap.
I want more like this!
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