Lessons To Live By
1. Respect your mother, always. How you treat your mother will be reflected in all relationships to follow. Listen, love, learn and you will grow into respectable young men.
2. Be kind and don't hold grudges. It takes too much energy to harbor anger; apathy is a better option and is a clear indicator that you are over it - whatever "it" may be. Use good judgement when determining where loyalties lie and know that you do not have to remain when the consequences are negative or hurtful. Know that this is about personal wellbeing and that you are not obligated to continue relationships with people who hurt you.
3. Give 100% of yourself to every task. Whether it is school, sports, work, or even favors granted, there will be times that you "don't feel like it" or you want to quit. Know that this is not an opt-out, but a test of character and that quiting is never an option.
4. Keep yourself healthy and strong. Eat well, work out, and do not fall prey to gluttony.
5. About Girls...Be nice. Soon (much to your mother's dismay) you will want to date the girls you used to "hate" in elementary school. Women have long memories, trust me on that one, so be respectful and kind always.
6. About Women...ditto and then some, so listen carefully:
- Put them before all else without losing yourself - a woman who wants to change who you are is not "the one". Keep it real.
- Respect, compliment, and HEAR when you listen; let her know how much you love her even when she is mad (especially then) because really, some fights are not worth winning. Do not make the mistake of revisiting past arguments, resolve and let go.
- Always let the woman you love know and feel like she is the most beautiful woman in the room. If you don't think that she is then you are with the wrong woman because there is a difference between lust "hot" and love "beautiful" and when you have both you are truly a lucky man.
- Marry for the right reasons not for what (you think) is right at the time.
- Know that you will, on some level, marry your mother. See lesson 1.
- Also know that your mother will, on some level, find fault with your wife so choose wisely.
- Your mother should always come first... O.K that's me talking but your father would tell you to at least pretend at times, for my sake. ;)
- Relationships are not perfect. Learn how to disagree without being hurtful and never fight in front of your children or anyone else for that matter.
7. Work hard and provide for your family. Never expect others to take care of you because they won't, it is not their responsibility. This lesson starts early and builds character.
8. Think of chores as an opportunity to make money rather than a burden. You will begin to understand the value of a dollar when you spend what YOU earned; random "stuff" will no longer be a necessity, trust me. How would you feel if your mother whined and complained because you wouldn't give her 20.00 for a pair of shoes she just had to have? If she followed you around pleading with you, telling you that you are mean and that they're only 20.00 so what's the big deal? Not so easy to part with your own money, is it? OK, so that was me again but you get the point... I hope.
9. Good friends tell you the truth not what they think you want to hear. You will make and have multiple friendships throughout your life but a true friend is someone who has shared experiences that cannot be matched, mirrored or repeated. Life-long friends are a part of who you are and help you to become who you want to be even when this means supporting you through mistakes or bad decisions. Your father was loved by many, many people but only a select few were a part of his reality, his heart, his mind. He would tell you to choose wisely and keep them close.
10. Your most important role in this life is that of "Dad".
- Before I say anything else hear this: DO NOT think that you can eat everything your wife does when she is pregnant because you can't. You get fat, she has a baby, period. With that said...
- Be involved. From the moment you hear "we're pregnant" you are a Dad; behave accordingly.
- Never take time with your children for granted. No matter how tired or sick you are, play with your kids and all will be good.These are the memories you all will hold close to your heart, they will sustain you through times of adversity and bring you more joy than you ever thought possible.
- Support, guide and lead by example. You are a role model so act like one.
- Be patient. This is not always easy but essential if you are to be respected and expect the same from your kids.
- Make sure that they are involved in activities outside of school. This keeps your kids out of trouble and accountable - you will know where they are and who they are with. You should get to know their friends as well as their friend's parents because apples don't fall far. Your father once told me that he didn't care if it was the violin or sports (although I did see him wince when he said violin) as long as you both were doing something other than nothing.
- Read to your kids before they go to bed. No matter what, end the day on a good note. Reading to your kids reminds you of what is important in your life, them. Your dad enjoyed reading bed time stories with you and someday you will read the same stories to your own children, allowing your bond to continue long after that last bed time story was read.
- Make sure that they have a good breakfast before they go to school. Don't let them load up on carbs! Peanut butter toast or scrambled eggs (two whites to one yolk) with a small glass of juice will start their day off well. Your father felt very strongly about this and loved making you breakfast before you went to school.
- Don't let them eat a lot of junk. Indulge them once in a while but make it a special occasion not an expectation or reward. Take the advice of a dear friend and tell your kids that the guy driving around the neighborhood in the white truck decorated with pictures of ice cream is a very bad man and that they must run inside when they hear his truck bell ringing.
- Don't let your child win even when they threaten to call the police on you...Charlie ;) Not sure I agree with this advice but the story behind it is classic.
- Make birthdays special. This does not mean an extravagant party every year but a day to celebrate the birth and life of your child. Cake, ice cream and balloons around the house are a must!
- Keep your car clean. Seriously!
- Final thoughts. Charlie and Tommy: Do well in school, excel in every area of your life, become the person that you want to be and choose fulfilling careers. All of this will make you, and everyone who loves you contented. Riches are not found in your bank account but in the memories made with family and friends so make them joyous. I will be with you always, watching and keeping you safe. I love you, boys. Dad
A Birthday wish:
Sharing this with others will ensure that Chuck's legacy live on through more than just our boys. Happy Birthday xoxo
In Loving Memory
Charles J. Pataky
5.1.1976 - 3.8.2011Daddy and Me