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Linda & Richard Eyre: What is the most important thing to me? 'I'm a dad!'

Published: Tuesday, June 11 2013 3:42 p.m. MDT

If new acquaintances asked, “Who are you in your own mind?” or “What is the most important thing to you?” To either of those questions I would answer, “I’m a dad.”

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It always annoys me (Richard) a little that the first question I’m asked when meeting someone is, “What do you do?” — as though my career or job is the most important and telling thing about me.

So sometimes, to switch it up, I answer, “Oh, I’m a homemaker.”

It gets some interesting reactions. The other day a guy said, “Oh, you mean you’re a stay-at-home-dad?”

“As much as my job will let me,” I replied, totally confusing him.

I think I would like it better, and it would be a better get-to-know-you question, if new acquaintances asked, “Who are you in your own mind?” or “What is the most important thing to you?”

To either of those questions I would answer, “I’m a dad.”

Let me give you a few reasons why:

I love my kids more than anyone on Earth, except Linda.

I’ve learned more and grown more from being a dad than from any other experience.

It’s more fun than anything else I do.

I actually believe it is a role I will never tire of or be released from.

We often speak and present to various chapters of a worldwide group called YPO (Young Presidents Organization). To join, you have to be president of a $10 million company before turning 40, so as you can imagine these are very aggressive, very accomplished people.

At one chapter event where we spoke, in Scotland, they had created a theme centered on how everything else done in life is done in support of the home and family, and on the cover of their program was a quote from the chapter chairman that said, “There is no time when I feel more a true man than when I am being a good dad to my children.”

It was close to a rare serious quote from the usually funny Bill Cosby: “Nothing I’ve ever done has given me more joys and rewards than being a father to my children.”

As Father’s Day approaches, many of us will get good wishes and gratitude from our children for being their dads.

But this year, I am going to reverse it and send thank-you cards to my kids, because I am convinced, deeply so, that they have given much more to me than I have given to them.

Richard and Linda Eyre are New York Times best-selling authors who lecture throughout the world on family-related topics. Visit them anytime at www.EyresFreeBooks.com or www.valuesparenting.com. Their latest Deseret e-book is “On the Homefront."

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