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Monday, June 20, 2011

I want to be an enabler

Warm up

That's right - I want to be an enabler. I want to be proud of this accomplishment. See I come from a long line of enablers. It appears I just can't get away from enablers. But reminiscing during Father's Day weekend, I am greatful for one of the greatest enablers of all time.

Main set

My dad is a great guy, but he has a problem - he is an enabler. Seems he has had this problem all of his life. Serving people was his vocation, but enabling his kids was his passion. I am the #5 of six kids in my family. By they time I came along, I am pretty sure he was really good at his skills. Let me give you some examples.

When we lived in Wakarusa, IN, he taught all of us boys how to golf. I know it wasn't, but it seemed like every Saturday he took us golfing at a Par 3 golf course in New Paris. We would wake up early and all pile in the car. We would get there before the course actually opened which was okay because he made prior arrangements with the course. My two older brothers would go off first and my dad would play with Jim, Jere and me. He taught us the fine points to the game, what club to hit, how to read putts but most important, how to enjoy the game of golf. And at the end of the round, he would pay for our rounds and treat us to something at the snack shop (which was my favorite part).  When we moved to Berne and I was in high school, he still loved getting up early to go play. Many Saturdays we would go play 9 holes at the local course in Geneva. Most of the time my brother and I would stay and play 36,45 or 54 holes on the same Saturday. He showed us that the game of golf is something you can enjoy with family and with others.

My dad with the boys in 2004
 EJ and Ben last summer

There are so many other examples I could share like how he painted white football helmets in the exact design of our favorite football team as a Christmas gift. Or how he made us pole vautling standards, which also doubled as football uprights. Or how he fixed numerous windows at the church for the wayward baseballs we threw. Or how he taught us how to build our own bikes. Or how he taught me to make things out of wood. I could go on. I am lucky. My dad was always there for me. He shared his passions with me but let me grow at my own speed. He enabled me to find my own passions.
Cool Down

I am trying to be an enabler for by two sons. There is no greater joy to see your kids fall in love with a sport or a hobby. Supporting their interests gives me great joy. EJ loves everything about cars. He loves working on his car, he loves watching car shows and he LOVES to talk about cars. This is all new to me but I am doing my best to allow him to follow his passion. We will go to the Muddy River Run and the Labor Day auction in Auburn over Labor Day. Today, he is excited to put headers on his car. Or is that "in his car"? Ben has fallen in love with biking. I think he would love nothing more than to eat, sleep and bike. In a few weeks, even though we are a few hundred miles away, we will share the joy of watching the Tour de France together on TV or the internet.

For the rest of you Dads (and Moms), I hope you can find something that you can be a healthy enabler to your kids! It is one of the best gifts you can give them.

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