Dad Diary: Wear Sunscreen

Life is about fooling people and tricking them into things. Right? Like, I tricked my wife into thinking I was a great guy worth marrying, and I fooled her parents into thinking I’d be a good husband to their daughter, but little did they know I had no idea what kinda husband and son-in-law I’d be. Then I kept up the long con, and tricked my wife into thinking I’d be a quality father, so much so, she and I had three children together. I’ve tricked every boss I’ve ever had into believing I would be a productive, reliable employee.

Fooled you all, right?

Currently, I’m spending most of my time making sure my children are fooled into thinking I know anything about being a dad and hoping that somehow, maybe through movies and magazine articles, they’ll pick up some tips about becoming quality people, students, and citizens as they grow older.

In a couple of weeks, I’m going to speak in front of 300+ college students and rattle off some advice, share some wisdom, will tell some stories, and they’ll probably be tricked by my charm and ability to speak in front of people (which, can I be honest, always makes me nervous, and I read from my notes alot, and I’m telling you that because, again, I’m a total fraud – I don’t like speaking in public).

Earlier this week I gave advice to an old friend on their resume, offered another friend some job-seeking advice, and I think I tried to tell my 14-year-old daughter something thought-provoking about team sports, trying out, not being afraid to fail, and enjoying the good and bad, and keeping everything in perspective.

Ha! Right! Like I do any of that. I recently saw a friend post on Facebook that their house was for sale and I won’t lie …their success and my lack-of success shook me for about a whole week.

Who am I to give advice? I’m not. Truth be told, almost everything I think came from a song by Baz Luhrmann called “Everybody’s Free (to Wear Sunscreen)”. And I just learned he’s a total fraud, too. He took the lyrics from a Chicago Tribune columnist named Mary Schmich who wrote the words as part of a column in 1997. It gets worse. I’m acting like I know this, but I don’t. I learned it from Peter Economy and his Inc. column about the song and article.

“You, too, will get old. And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.”

I guess what I’m saying is, if someday my kids read this Blog entry, they’ll know I’m a fraud and I’m just repeating the advice I got from my parents, the advice I read in books, and from lessons learned in the song “Everybody’s Free (to Wear Sunscreen). It will be hard for them to know they’ve been fooled, but they’ll also see Baz fooled me, and Peter fooled some people. The only person who’s off the hook is Mary because she wrote the original words.

My advice? Master the ability to trick people and fool them into thinking good things about you. Oh, and wear sunscreen.