The beautiful Michigan weather we have been waiting for has finally arrived. In just a few short days, we’ll formally begin the summer season, and as you make your plans to hit the lake, float the river or enjoy a backyard barbecue with your family, remember that June is also a month to celebrate dads, and to take time to remember how they improve and influence our lives.
Father’s Day is a special time for me because it allows me to spend time with my father and reflect on the impact he has had on my life. My brother and I were very fortunate growing up. My father was incredibly involved with his family, and I believe his kindness and ability to act as a friend and mentor are what shaped my brother and me into who we are today.
When my brother and I were younger, my father was a traveling salesman. He worked hard and spent many nights away from his family to support us back home and make sure we were always taken care of.
I believe his work ethic, kindness and family involvement greatly influenced the relationships I have with my boys. I was fortunate to grow up with strong family values — we were taught to respect others and both the importance and reward of a hard day’s work.
I owe a great deal of thanks to my father, not only for teaching me these critical, lifelong skills, but for helping me be a good father to my kids and inspiring my passion for helping others. I am also thankful that my father has continued his influential role as my two sons continue to grow up.
I, like many, have several childhood memories of my father. One of my most-cherished memories is going on business trips with him and visiting local bakeries. It was always a fun and exciting time to check out the local treats from various towns, villages and cities across the state. My father also enjoyed reading. He graduated with a degree in journalism, and his love for the written word was certainly passed down to me. Like him, I thoroughly enjoy the experience and knowledge that can come from a good book or publication.
Many of you have similar memories — a character trait, a specific family trip, a meaningful conversation — of your fathers. We have all been shaped in some way by our fathers and how they raised us. For those of you who are fortunate enough to still have loving fathers in your lives, it is my hope that on Father’s Day you will take the time to visit your father. Plan an activity he enjoys and make sure he knows how important he is to you.
For those who are unfortunately separated geographically, consider giving your dad a call — any measure will do and is certain to make his day. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads in the 37th District.
Sen. Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City, represents the 37th state Senate District, which includes Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Chippewa, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Luce and Mackinac counties.
Editor’s note: Video of Schmidt discussing the importance of Father’s Day is available here, or on his website under the “Media Center” tab.