Each year, July 4th brings a joyful remembrance of the love, relationship, and good times enjoyed with my father, Bob. He was raised during the Depression, when going without was commonplace. He was a friend of anyone who knew him and exemplified thankfulness and gratitude for all we enjoy as Americans.
This July 4th has special meaning as it is the 70th anniversary of my father joining the Army Air Corps to fight in WWII. He epitomized the best of the “Greatest Generation”, fighting bravely from the cockpit of a P-51 Mustang in the Asian Theater. His courage and confidence in the rightness of his cause brings me pride as a son and as an American. He laid his life on the line to fight the evil of his day.
Bob Hammond grew up in 1930’s poverty. He completed two years at Morningside College before enlisting after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He left the cornfields of Iowa and climbed into the cockpit of a P-51 and began his fight for what he believed was the greatest government ever conceived by man—our American Democracy.
Although he drank and battled alcoholism for 30 years after the Great Conflict, he was, in the end, able to get and stay sober (for another 33 years) and make sense of the whole affair. We were at the Arizona Monument in Pearl Harbor in 1995–in a quiet moment I asked him if he was doing OK. He quietly replied, “I fought against the government of the grandparents of these (Japanese) tourists.” He had done the math and knew that he had won, healed, and moved on. This is the mark of a real warrior. This was some of the legacy of my father. His friend once eulogized:
To my friend and brother Bob Hammond:
“Proudly I call you my brother. Our lives were mirrored in so many ways that our paths were entwined forever…
Born of humble circumstance in Iowa, raised by a saintly mother, forged by the Depression, you were a gifted athlete, literally fighting for an education and some wisdom.
Through the Great Conflict, where the wild blue yonder became close up deadly and dirty, you and I lived, suffered losses, made mistakes, played thousands of card games, fought, drank to excess, and selfishly survived.
Well, it was about time when we made the long-awaited changes… and with those changes came sobriety, self-respect, and most importantly love of family, those of goodwill, coupled with a great love for Christ.
He takes you into his arms. Go lovingly compadre’. So long; I will miss you. Keep the light on for me…”
I am realizing that the pain of missing a loved one transforms with time. Each July 4th our family will relish the memory my dad–-one of the Greatest Generation. He was a patriot-warrior, friend, and an awesome father who impacted many lives with his love for God, people, and his country.
To know is to love…
As you learn more about who your children are and how they have been designed–how they are wired…
Let them know and discover more about yourself as well. Let them in on YOU.
Disclosure and being real and open as a parent is key to developing a healthy relationship with your kids–for a lifetime.
Can you keep it “real”?…or do you tend to put on a “parenting self”… as you deal with your kids.
My twenty-something kids call this being “Legit”.
Children can smell a fake a mile away—do the know you, like you, and trust you?
Only then you can have a great relationship!
Let patience, kindness, love and the willingness (courage) to trust and be trusted as you move forward as a family.
Authenticity is the key—can you be real and keep to the role of a great parent…Yup!
Eighty percent of success is showing up.
US movie actor, comedian, & director (1935 – )
People often ask:” How do you get involved and know so many people locally?”
Short answer: relationships via networking and involvement.
How do you and I make the time in a world in short supply of it?
Show up. Get involved. Be present.
You can make the time and make people your priority. It does not take gobs of time- Just a commitment to involvement in something and some people you believe in–something you know makes a difference.
Some key points to really consider:
- Consider as you look into community involvement: What is a fit both in time and mission?
- What does this association bring to you and the community?
- What do YOU bring to the group?
- Can you support the vision, mission, and the goals of the association you are considering?
- What is your motivation? Give or take or both? Business or just friendship or both?
I have some suggestions for your networking consideration here in Humboldt County. It usually costs nothing to visit and each association will likely be delighted to meet and get to know you. This list is just my take—not exhaustive by any means.
- Local Chamber of Commerce (Google your local Chamber)
You can choose from most local towns: Eureka, Arcata, Fortuna, or McKinleyville. Each would love to meet and network with you at their monthly mixers. Great opportunity—size matters here. Your local Chamber is a great place to start your “networking quest.”
- B.N.I.—Business Networking International (bni.com)
This is your great opportunity to specifically network with others in business for the express purpose of getting and giving business referrals. There are 3 local chapters and they are all very friendly to new and potential visitor/members.
- Service Clubs—Rotary, Kiwanis’s, Soroptimist, etc… (Google and you will find your choice)
Local service clubs are a terrific way to get linked in to the local culture and make a positive difference in the community. Each has its own flavor, culture, and mission to the community. Again, visit around to find the best match for you in terms of meeting time, general fit and culture.
- “Mastermind” Groups—several in the County (Google your search—it really works!)
These groups vary, but the common thread is always some focus on mutual encouragement and support in attainment of your personal and business goals. Each has its own focus and area of expertise and all differ in their culture and leadership. This is a great network to get personal attention and 1 to 1 help. These usually cost more than other networks and for good reason.
- Clubs, Associations, Lodges, etc…(Google is your friend—use it)
Locate and find the involvement via local clubs of your choice. Elks, Odd Fellows, Grangers, Moose Lodges, are just a few you can choose from. Humboldt County has a lot of these.
- Toastmasters—3 chapters locally (toastmasters.org)
There are many associations designed for self-help—few do it as well as Toastmasters. Although, not a networking venue, Toastmasters helps folks ramp up their business acumen and thereby their networking skills. This is a personal favorite. You actually do meet many fascinating people along the way!
Want to network and get your local relationships ramped up? Show up. Get involved. Be present.
There is no better way than to plug into an appropriate local group, association, or club of choice. You will find not only will you grow, but you will be a key in influencing others to personal development.
The key is when/where/ and how you will choose to be involved. If you delay, we will all be lesser for your absence. Take action today—get on Google and make some calls and show up—You’ll be glad you did…so will your communities!
The Tiny Guide to Being a Great Dad
Post written by Leo Babauta.
I am blessed with six wonderful children and a fantastic and lovely wife, and for this I am deeply grateful. But on a day like today, a lazy Sunday morning when my family is sleeping in and the soft light of the morning permeates the house, I reflect on what it’s like to be a dad.
Not just a dad … a great dad. This is a height I don’t always reach, but I believe I do inhabit that space sometimes. I’m a great dad, on my best days.
If you’re curious about my thoughts, as a dad of 19 years that has included countless sleepless nights, endless answering of questions, thousands of nursery rhymes sung and horsey rides given, hundreds of thousands of words read in children’s books, more than my share of wiping up spitup, poopie butts and much more … here is my offering to the world.
Don’t worry, it’s a fairly simple guide.
The Three Rules
There are only three things you need to do to be a great dad:
1. Be there. If you’re in their lives, you rock. If you’re there when they scrape their knee, lose their first tooth, need someone to cry to, need help with their school project, want a partner for playing house or hide-and-seek … you are already being a great dad. Be there, when they need you, and when they don’t.
2. Love them. They will know you love them, if you love them fully. It will show in your smile, in your touch, in your good-morning hugs. But also tell them on a regular basis. Infuse all your dad actions with love.
3. Be present. It’s great to be in the same room with them, but as much as you can afford to, be fully present with them. Shut off the mobile device, close the laptop, turn off the TV, and really pay attention. Listen to their long fragmented stories. Really watch when they want to show off their new wizard or ninja move.
That’s it. That’s all you need to be a great dad. Well, there are some bonus moves, but those are just extensions of the above three.
The Bonus Moves
If you want some specifics of how to do the above three rules, here are some ideas:
Sing with them.
Run around with them.
Make believe with them.
Read to them daily.
Dance with them.
Tell them corny jokes.
Paint with them.
Make videos where they are the star.
Set a healthy example by being active and eating well.
Show them how to be independent.
Teach them critical thinking, rather than just obedience.
Teach them how to teach themselves.
Don’t be overprotective.
Show them you’re proud of them.
Let them make mistakes.
When they get hurt, use that moment to teach them how to deal with pain.
Show interest in what they’re interested in, and don’t make it seem trivial.
Show them how to work passionately.
Spend some quiet cuddly time with them.
Make them pancakes with faces.
Have Nerf dart gun fights.
Play board games.
Take them on hikes.
Play sports with them.
Show them how to use a knife.
Honor your commitments.
Love your wife, and treat her with respect.
Be compassionate to others, and them.
Be happy with yourself.
As you arrive home after your day or work—do a quick PERSONAL inventory.
H A L T….!!
If so, satisfy and notify. Communicate to others as appropriate, what you are feeling.
Give yourself food, talk with your partner, go out back and pray, etc…
Let others know what you need for that moment.
Give yourself a time-out, a shower, or whatever will satisfy the identified need.
Yes, there will always be reasons why some of this coping strategy cannot be done, but even sometimes is better than not at all.
In Review—HALT—Employ an appropriate tool–Then come back on line as the awesome parent you really are!
Help your kids ease into sleep with some pre-sleep routine that works for everyone.
This is key as it actually sets the stage for the next day in many ways.
We often start with a warm bath followed by the customary tooth brushing—those dental bills!
We then have a variety of bedtime “tools” depending on the age of the child.
My wife will often have a reading time with our 2 young boys centered around books they like.
With my older, special needs son, it is more of a time of getting him “tucked in” and comfortable followed by prayer.
This all includes appropriate and customary “kisses goodnight”, hugs, and acts of affection.
Tell your kids you love them—and why.
Every family melts down–sometimes! When things aren’t going well what can you do as a leader-parent?
Here are a few tips and ideas you can employ TODAY to help you and the fam get through the “rough spots” we all encounter in family living:
- Call for EVERYONE to take a :60 second “time-out”—Stop and walk away, take some breaths, and remove yourself from a volatile situation first.
- Call for EVERYONE to “freeze” (remember freeze tag?)—Stop the action and words of everyone for a minute or so before resuming.
- Discuss the Scene (drama!)–Have everyone stop and consider their roles and how they might make some changes in tone, words,body language etc…
- Replay the Scene–Make it a better “scene”. Replay it as many times as necessary to make a more positive scene and consequently a better overall “Family Play”
- Have Fun–Dare to have some humor and laugh with (not at) each other. Crack an appropriate joke and lighten the mood when trending toward a family drama.