Father and son surfing

No. 3: Conquer something

Fathers love recognition for who they are and what they accomplish. This gets ratcheted up now that there's little eyes looking back at him -- he wants them to be proud eyes. A man's "take-over-the-world" fantasy gets traded in for something actual and real, and an investment is made wherever he is.

The stereotype is the father trying to win the neighborhood house-decorating contest. But the truth takes on a hundred forms: his awesome barbecue, his immaculate lawn, coaching his son's Little League team.

Through these efforts, we got to see the joy and dedication our fathers enjoyed.

Maybe they didn't conquer what they strove for, but that's not what really matters. It's in the effort that the lesson is learned. It's the script given for how we can enjoy life, and hopefully conquer something ourselves.