In honor of Father’s Day I would like to share with you the best advice my dad ever gave me. Here it is. Are you ready? It’s going to knock your socks off.
“Be nice, have fun, don’t hurt anyone.”
That’s it. Simple. Life altering. The first time I remember it being said over and over was when he coached my softball team. The last year I played softball was the summer before ninth grade and we had moved to a more competitive league in another city. As far as I remember, we did okay. What do I remember most about that summer? Mean softball girls, mean softball moms, obnoxious behavior from adults, thinking it wasn’t fun any more, injuring my knee when sliding into second and getting up by myself. I know! No one came to help me get up even though I was screaming bloody murder because something bad had obviously happened with my knee. Rude. Needless to say, my dad would say before every game, “Be nice, have fun, and don’t hurt anyone.” Thanks Dad. We needed that reminder because those girls were just plain mean.
The advice still rings in my head when my controlling personality wants to take over and be mean, not have fun, and hurt someone. I’m really not competitive and did play softball because it was fun and I was an average player. I knew I wasn’t going to play professional softball but these girls really thought they were. For all I know some of them might be, but still…so rude. I played in the out field most of the time and remember moms from other teams that had these empty milk cartons with rocks in them and they would yell at the out field players. Rude. If you are one of those moms just stop. Stop now. I give my dad props for coaching a bunch of girls for several years especially through “those years.” You know the years when girls get “visitors” every month and might be a little over-dramatic about it. I remember one night on our way home from practice I was gross and sweaty and my dad asked me what I thought about practice and I told him I wasn’t really having fun any more. Before the knee injury I was pretty sure I didn’t want to play any more after that summer. It never occurred to me that my dad might have actually enjoyed coaching. I was such a people pleaser [in those days] that if my dad would have told me he wanted me to play again I would have just because I wanted to make my dad happy. But he didn’t say that. I don’t actually remember what he said. I remember taking a shower at home probably after 10:00 and wishing the season was over. Well, God took care of that.
Remember that second base I slid into? Well, I was wearing a knee brace because I had some knee issues earlier in the season. When I slid into second base my knee dislocated and got stuck in the knee brace. I know. I still get grossed out thinking about it. Needless to say, it went back into place when I stood up and hurt BAD. When I took my brace off that night you couldn’t even see my knee because it was so swollen already. After a trip to a specialist and an MRI it was confirmed I needed surgery because I pretty much tore or pulled a bunch of necessary parts of your knee. I had knee surgery, the softball team went to the state tournament, I stayed at my grandmother’s house and read Sweet Valley High books and the book of Ruth over and over. My dad never pushed me beyond what I was comfortable with.
My softball days were over but the days of my dad giving good advice never did. He still gives good advice…even if you don’t ask for it. He loves my mom, me, my brother, and our families with unconditional love.
Happy Father’s Day Tony Scantling!