3 Great lessons Dad taught me I went…

3 Great lessons Dad taught me

I went through a lazy spell between ages 11 and 13, and it took another snowstorm to break it. My sisters and I missed four weeks of school due to blizzards during our family’s first year in the house my parents still live in. After two weeks of freezing ourselves for fun, we grew bored and lethargic. Not my father. It seemed to me that he and I were constantly shoveling, not just paths through sidewalks, but the entire width of the walks, on principle: “There is cement under there. Expose it.”

Of particular concern to my father was the inch of ice that had formed over our long driveway, thickened every time our vehicles labored back and forth to the cul-de-sac. He was determined that we should shovel the ever freshly falling snow to prevent the slab from growing thicker. I mutinied: “That’s a waste of time! It’s just going to keep snowing! Just let me wait until it stops.” My dad shelved a dozen things he might have said. Instead he leveled his gaze at me and punched each word: “Son. You have no concept of work.” Then he turned and began shoveling.

This may seem like the unkindest cut of all–but it remains one of the kindest of my life. I stood there in the open garage, watching the snow land on his coat and around his boots. In the following minute my boyhood laziness melted. I picked up a shovel; I have not yet put it down.

Related: Texas Governor Greg Abbott Shares the Best Parenting Advice He Ever Received

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