by Stan Wise
Farm Forum Editor
We celebrate Father’s Day this weekend, and if you asked most farming dads, I think they would tell you the greatest joy of fatherhood is passing on knowledge and skills to their children and then watching them use that knowledge.
I have written often in this column about the things my father and grandfather taught me. Sometimes, learning from them when time was precious and tensions were high wasn’t always a joy, but I always remember those moments fondly. (Even my dad’s stressful tractor driving lessons.)
Recently, I’ve wondered about why I miss that old dynamic in which I’m doing my best to pick up a new skill and can see the disappointment on their faces when I occasionally don’t pick it up fast enough.
I think I’ve found an answer.
When I remember those moments, even the times when learning wasn’t fun, I still feel their love for me. I think the act of teaching anyone anything at all is an act of love. That thought colors everything I ever learned from my father and grandfather. Everything I know about working on a farm and so much more, I learned because I was loved. That knowledge fills me with gratitude for everything I was taught.
So, now that I have my own children, it’s time for me to be the teacher, right?
Not exactly. I do have things to teach, but I was surprised by the unexpected lessons of fatherhood that awaited me. More surprising, my teachers are often my children.
My wife, my family, anyone who knew me before I had children can tell you that the greatest lesson my children taught me (are still teaching me) is…
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