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My Father’s Day 2010

{ Posted on Jun 20 2010 by Marcus Alston }

Father’s Day 2010 was one of the best ever, maybe our most frugal yet, and definitely one of the most memorable.

I received a lot of phone calls:  2 from sisters-in-law, 1 from my brother, 1 from my mother and I spoke to 1 brother-in-law.   My wife and kids made breakfast (healthy eggs and small muffins and orange juice).  I drank a lot of tap water since I had just spent about 1 hour mowing the lawn using a human-powered push mower (no gas or electricity) .  To top things off, my family made me homemade father’s day cards!!!

In the afternoon, we bought our only gift, a Blackberry Curve for my father-in-law.  He really needed the upgrade in technology and did consider one of the fancy touch screen I-Phone type models, but was not ready  to make this leap just yet.  A brother-in-law and I both steered him in the direction of the tried and true Blackberry.  In 2 years when he is ready to upgrade, the touch screen phones will be much better.

We went to my father-in-law’s house, brought the electric grill and cooked-out.  We had a simple menu of hot dogs, hamburgers, tuna salad, and baked beans, along with punch, soda, and water.   13 people attended the cookout and I managed the electric grill which is over 10 years old.  It still works well, gets the job done, and is better for the environment than gas grills.  By the way, the grilled taste is just great, since there is a drip pan that turns the drippings into smoke, creating that great grilled  flavor.  The bottom of the grill is seasoned from all the past grilling and has some charcoal like leftovers.

Finally, I had brought over my 2 girls’ bikes and took off the training wheels of my 7 year old’s bike.  She was overdue to start riding without the training wheels and I thought she was ready.  Well, after about 3 trips riding about 100 yards with her Daddy helping her balance, she was riding all by herself!  She did it on Father’s Day and I will never forget this moment!  At one point she said, “Dad, I thought you were holding me when I was riding,” and I said, “Nope, you were doing it yourself!  I shouldn’t have told you that I had let go.”  During our training, I kept telling her that it was about speed, balance, and riding straight.  A friend of mine helped his then 4 year old son learn to ride by putting his son on a small grass hill and letting him go under the theory that all the son needed was speed—and if he fell, he would fall safely on the soft grass.   Later, when I asked my daughter how she learned to ride a bike in about 25 minutes, she said in a wise tone, “It’s about the speed, and then the balance, and then I knew I had to go straight, and then I had to have fun, and then . . .” And she went on and on.   Wow, it’s incredible how children learn from you and absorb the lessons we teach them.  Let’s keep on teaching them everything we know–including how to save and be financially independent.

Sensing my daughter was internalizing my every word, I seized the opportunity to make it a teachable moment and told her that our biking lesson was like other things in life such as personal finances and saving money: sometimes you just need some help or someone to teach you something, and then you can do it yourself.  We moved on to tennis later in the day after she proudly showed my wife and father-in-law that she could ride her bike without training wheels or help from her Daddy!

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4 Responses to “My Father’s Day 2010”

  1. Congratulations to your daughter!!!

  2. That sounds like a great day indeed!

  3. Thanks Lisa for the positive feedback and for leaving a comment!

  4. Thanks so much for the congrats! I will pass your well wishes on to my daughter! I am so proud that she can ride a bike without training wheels.

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