With my father now gone almost two years, I still think of him often. Every day, in fact.
My father started me in the aquarium hobby when I was about 3 years old. He bred fancy guppies, and my first fish were some of his fry, along with a goldfish bowl, food, and some great advice: "Feed them small amounts often, and change some of the water every few days. Watch them carefully, and you'll be able to tell if they are having any problems."
Good advice..Great advice, actually. Possibly, the best aquarium advice I'd ever received.
To this day, I apply those simple bits of advice to my aquatic efforts, with fantastic results. I will always be grateful to my father, not only for his love and compassion; not just for the advice he bestowed upon me - but for simply being there. He started me on this lifelong adventure in the aquatic realm. An adventure that would take me from the kid with a fishbowl to an owner of a truly amazing online dry goods company.
My dad knew something that was pretty remarkable: If you have a passion, share it with your children. Teach them what you know, nurture their dreams, answer their questions, and encourage them in every way.
Give your son or daughter their first fishbowl, nano-tank, baby guppies. Allow them to feel the excitement when they add that new Tetra, find that cool Angelfish they've been looking for, pick kill eggs from a spawning mop for the first time, or create that perfect aquascape.
Embrace their geeky enthusiasm.
And most of all, treasure them. You just don't know the direction your child's life might take when you give them a little push in the right direction.
Happy Fathers Day to my dad- and every dad out there!