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Lessons With Dad



On Father’s Day, we did everything our bib overall, wearing wonder buns dad wanted to do, which was nothing. Actually, doing nothing would have been refreshing. The Bibbed Wonder could not wait to make hay. Most dads look forward to BBQs, golfing, or relaxing. Not my bib overall wearing ball of energy. He looks forward to and enjoys farm work. He spent the weekend mowing hay, raking hay, and now looks forward to baling hay.


Rather than spend the day alone riding the fields in his tractor, listening to music, and enjoying the air conditioning. (I question if it is really work when one gets to ride around with all the comforts and bells and whistles of modern conveniences…insert wink). He asked The Bean to join him, and he taught her to drive the tractor. I was somewhat annoyed by his invitation for her to learn how to operate the tractor. She’s only thirteen and weighs no more than a minute. Also, I have wanted to learn how to drive the tractor for years, and he doesn’t trust me behind the wheel.


Seriously, mangle a few lawn mowers, bend a few steel blades, and saddlebag equipment on large piles of rocks, and you’re marked for life. I argued that a tractor is not a lawn mower, and I would be much more careful and responsible with a tractor. Eric raised an eyebrow, mocked me in a high-pitched voice, and said, “I don’t know how that happened, Errie! I just mangle things.” All said while shrugging his shoulders with a mock innocent look on his face. First of all, I NEVER call him Errie. Secondly, okay, I don’t have a secondly. He’s right; I do mangle things. I also play innocent when I do something stupid. He’s also probably correct in stating that a tractor is an oversized lawn mower. However, think of the damage I could do…I mean things I could move with a huge tractor. Sigh. He doesn’t even allow me to hold the keys.


Anyhow, he spent the day locked in a tractor cab with The Bean listening to 80s songs, talking Stranger Things, and teaching her how to drive a massive piece of farm equipment. As is the norm for this girl, she took to it like a fish to water. She followed all directives, learned what all the buttons and levers are used for, and slowly and safely maneuvered the fields while pulling the hay rake. She made one mistake, she stopped the tractor and tried to climb out while leaving the PTO running. The Bibbed Wonder stopped her from going, made her shut down the PTO, and then informed her that if “she ever did that again, she had better be able to run fast because he would kick her little a$$ for being so careless. That is how accidents happen, and people get killed.” She accepted this stern lesson with solemnity. He then made her drive around the field again, stopping properly, shutting down the PTO, and only being allowed to exit when she was sure it was in park, and the emergency brake was on. He takes safety very seriously but is almost militant regarding her. For this, I am grateful.


As we sat at the dinner table eating hamburgers with Swiss cheese, mushrooms, and onion per request from The Bibbed Wonder. They recounted their day, mocked me for being “super jellybean” about The Bean driving the tractor, and made annoying references to Monty Python movies. All the while giggling and declaring their minds have merged while making wiggle fingers and annoying beeping noises. Sigh, they wonder why my WTF lines are so deep.


I make a good show of being annoyed, acting “put out” about their teasing, and pretending to be jealous over no tractor privileges, but I secretly love their bond. I’m also very proud my girl is so capable. Okay, maybe it’s not so secret. I appreciate that Eric takes the time to teach her life lessons and independence. I love that they have “their thing” and enjoy each other’s company. I spent the day in gratitude for all this bib overall wearing superhero does for us. Jordan ended the day by giving her dad a heartfelt letter thanking him for all he does, making references to all the inside jokes they share, and sharing her love, admiration, and gratitude with him. I believe that was the best part of his day.


I hope you spent the day celebrating all the good men in your life. Whether they are the best dads ever, filled with good intentions, or taught you hard lessons, all dads bring something to our lives—cheers to all dads in every shape and form. Remember, dear reader, stay safe, be smart, appreciate the men in your life, and keep washing your hands.

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