Even though I posted this early on Thursday, I'm linking up to my friend Micah's blog for "Something Good Sundays." Be sure to check it out!
I recently saw a question that I knew I wanted to blog about. “What is the best gift your father has ever given you?” I thought that was a great question, and the perfect blog for the week prior to Father's Day. And, because I didn't do a Mother's Day post, I will be answering for both of them and not deal with any repercussions of only doing one. (Those two are crazy competitive….think that was genetic?)
Anyway, I got to thinking about what my answers would be. Honestly, I can’t even list out all of the gifts that my parents gave me, so picking the best one was really hard. I tried to think though of something that wasn’t general….like unconditional love or a roof over my head….and come up with something that was more specific to my own parents. So….here we go!
My mom always does the “background” work that doesn’t get attention. For example, when we were showing, she would be at the barn every night just like the rest of us—she would help us run lambs and was pretty much in charge of walking pigs. She bought feed and ringworm cream and soap for washing day. She measured feed and washed lamb blankets. And then we’d get to the fair and she’d step aside. She didn’t need to limelight and attention there. She was happy to have done her work in the background and see it pay off when we won a banner. She’s like this in everything--she’s always doing laundry, cooking meals, making sheep sale lists, proofreading papers--the list could go on forever. And all of this is in the background.
Her doing these things allows other people (read: me!) to shine. So obviously her doing these things themselves is a gift (and now that I'm the one doing the laundry I realize how much of a gift!)….but it's more than that. Her teaching me the importance of doing work in the background is an even bigger gift than clean shirts. She taught me to put other people first, and to do whatever has to be done. I think that’s what being a mom is all about.
From my dad: An interest in anything I do.
Ask my dad about the prohibition on admitting hearsay testimony at trial. Ask him about how many minutes a quarter is in girls high school basketball (or at least what it was 9 years go!) Ask him the weight of a typical Holstein cow. He’ll be able to tell you about them all.
I remember shooting baskets and my dad coming out to rebound for me or make suggestions about my form. He had never played basketball, and he’ll tell you that Single A girls athletics were boring. Like REAL boring. But he was there helping me anyway. The same thing when I was judging dairy in high school. You all know my dad got me into judging (remember this blog?), but what you may not know is that after my team won the state livestock judging contest, we weren’t allowed to judge it anymore, so we had to switch contests. We went to dairy, and after we won that, to poultry and after that banner came home, farm business management. Didn’t matter what test I was studying for or what type of reasons I was practicing, my dad was right in the middle of it.
Nothing has changed since I’ve become an adult. When I was doing a mock trial in law school we would talk about the issues in the case, the motions in limine, and how we planned on getting certain statements in. Again—he had no legal background at all, but he cared because I cared. And when we got the evidence in and won the trial, he sat in the back of the courtroom high-fiving my Uncle Dennis (which did not go un-noticed to the Supreme Court Justice who was serving as our judge and commented on the family support we had in the back of the courtroom!).
Knowing that you have someone behind you, and who supports your interests even when those interests are completely different than his own is a gift. I know that my dad is always in my corner, and that when something goes well, he’ll high five whoever happens to sit next to him.