As with so many things in our lives, we never fully appreciate what we have until it’s not around anymore. Like most kids, when I left home to attend college, I didn’t imagine missing anything about life at home. After all, how could I miss my dad’s never ending chores, curfew, and rules, when I would finally have independence? It only took about two weeks before I realized how well my parents, and especially my dad had prepared me for life.

Chores Were The Foundation For His Lessons

Growing up my siblings and I were expected to do chores every Saturday morning. While our friends were sleeping in and then enjoying the rest of their weekend boating on the river, we were up at 7:30 a.m. doing chores around the house. This included everything from the typical chores that most kids know how to do, like housework and yard work, to the odd jobs like fixing sprinklers, digging trenches, stacking hay, even roofing our house. If there was ever something that we didn’t know how to do, my dad would expect my siblings and I to work together to figure out a solution. At the time I resented having to spend the majority of my Saturday doing chores that most people would just pay to have done. My attitude changed when I began living on my own.


While my friends would fold under the pressure and stresses of school, I would stay in on weekends and study, continually working hard toward my goals. While one of my roommates was a complete slob that never cleaned up after himself, I was always very tidy and left things better than I found them. Where some of my friends would complain about having to work on group projects, I would always thrive because I spent my whole life problem solving with my siblings. While my peers were struggling to find confidence I was always sure of myself because I spent my whole life learning new skills that helped boost my self-esteem.

My Dad’s Lessons Were Invaluable

I will forever be grateful to my dad for taking the time and energy to make me work hard throughout my life. I’m sure it would have been easier to just hire someone to do work around the house, but instead he was out there every weekend with us, teaching us skills and lessons that would help us stand apart later in life. Good work ethic is getting harder and harder to come by these days. I’m so fortunate that my dad cared enough about me to make me work throughout my life.