Why “For Dummies” is Smart….and Sweet

I walked in my dad’s living room a few weeks ago. What I saw on his end table next to his recliner made me smile.

It was the book Football For Dummies.

Now my dad loves to golf. At 81 years old he is still very good at it, often playing 18 holes in one day and winning local senior tournaments.

And he loves baseball. Don’t you dare call him when his Detroit Tigers are playing or the Little League World Series is on ESPN. He won’t even pick up the phone.

But football?

Nah. I can’t ever remember him having an ounce of interest in the game. That is, until my son, his youngest grandchild, started playing recently.

Spence waiting to take the field. He wears the same number and plays the same position as Michael Oher of The Blind Side movie.

Now Papa is studying the rules, plays, and ins and outs of the game so when he watches Spencer play he won’t be lost. And so he can talk with his grandson after the game.

It touches my heart.

And it isn’t the first time Papa has done this. When our daughter Kenna played volleyball in middle and high school he did the same thing. He could often even be found watching college volleyball on television to learn even more about the sport.

Is there a child, coworker, neighbor or other person in your life to whom you want to show love? Then, take an active interest in something they love.

Now, you must know that there are some things my kids and husband love that completely bore me to tears.

The hubster loves smooth jazz (yawn!), my boys both love to hunt and my daughter loved sign language when she was in school.

So yes, I have surprised my beloved with tickets to a jazz concert and learned to make venison chili, wild turkey soup and even hasenpfeffer made from squirrel!

The freshman team after their last win. They are now 3-0!

I gave up on the sign language because my daughter told me I didn’t quite have the knack of it and it looked as if I were swearing!!

Is there someone in your life that would be touched if you showed interest in their interest?

Could you spend some time learning a skill or sport or hobby that you don’t love just because there is a person in your life whom you do love?

If so, I’d love you to hear about it.

As for me? I think its about time I picked up Golf for Dummies so I can play a round with my sweet dad.

Well, at least a round of putt-putt :-)


  1. What a blessing your father is….I have been blessed with 4 children…all play a different sport. I will admit that I cringed at the thought of my oldest playing basketball. It was the one sport I was not to fond of, however…as she continued to play, I learned the in’s and out’s so as to be a more supportive mom. I believe that we should all take that step forward and we spend time with our special family and friends.

    May the Lord bless you today!

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Robin :)

  2. I believe taking interest in a loved ones passions takes part in growing the relationship. My 9-yr old daughter is a dancer. I spend a lot of time at the dance studio and I love to dance, recreationally I went to my first fitness class after long break from regular exercise. The class is Fitness Ballet. We learned the technical words for positions and steps. I was able to share my experience with my daughter that has been dancing for almost 6 years. I was blessed that our conversation carried on from there with her wanting to teach me more steps. I hope she was just as blessed as I was sharing common ground.

  3. That is super cool that your dad is doing that. That’s being a parent. As a fan of sign language myself, I still had to laugh out loud about your attempt at sign language, or was that swearing? Teehehe. Oh my I do try to show an interest in those things my 6 yr old son loves to do. Really anything he does that I do with him at this age is loved. But boy oh boy how in the world do you play pokemon?!?! …. maybe they have a dummies book for that too. ; )

  4. As a mom of country boys, this hit the mark today. My boys have decided to raise meat goats, which meant nothing to me, I raised dairy cows as a kid and know very little about goats. But through his 4-H project it has been a learning adventure for the whole family. It’s great to spread your wings and venture into new adventures with our kids. I just hope when I beciome a grandparent that I remember this too!

  5. My father never hunted or even owned a gun. I had never, ever touched a gun. When I married my husband I had to accept that he loved hunting and shooting. After a few years he invited me to go target shooting with him. I was a little reluctant but I loved it immediately. Eventually we started competition shooting and I shot number 3 in our league. Shooting has become and remained one of our biggest pleasures as a couple. I never would have had this time with my dear Chuck if I had refused to give it a try.

  6. Oh, so sweet. There is nothing that swells a mama’s heart like the relationship between her children and her parent(s)! My dad loves to take my son camping– something we don’t do much of in this part of the country. He’s giving my boy the gift of his time as well as a love of the outdoors– they have this thing, no one else gets to share. Love it!

  7. Hi Karen you are so right. You don’t have to become an expert at what your special someone likes, but a little bit of interest shown goes a looong way. By the way, where is your dad from? My dad is a super duper Detroit Tiger fan also. He doesn’t even like it when someone walks between him and the tv! You dad is a great guy! God bless.

  8. I loved this article. So true and very sweet that your
    Dad loves his grandchildren so much to
    learn their “love”. I appreciate your honesty
    about your own kids and husband and how
    you try to “key in” on their world. I have to admit
    that I am so stupid when it comes to understanding
    sports of any kind! My poor 14 yr old son
    tries to teach me the “lingo” and the rules,
    his favorite players, teams, and who belongs
    on which team. I can’t seem to retain this
    knowledge, but I do love playing basketball, throwing the
    football and catching/throwing the baseball
    and truly wouldn’t trade this special time
    with him. He laughs at me (in an endearing way of course!)
    and I think just appreciates that I enter his world
    of sports by playing with him even though
    I have no clue about the ins/outs of them. Love to my daughter would
    be playing school and shopping. Both super fun to do and doesn’t
    take too much (except for money!) on my part. :)

  9. I always wanted to know more about Archaeology, but since I took a class at the college I have been able to be more informed talking to my daughter who is planing on a PhD someday in Archaeology or Ancient History.
    My son started on the cross country team at school and this week (week4) I finally was able to catch myself and say, “cross country” instead of “track”, but he also quit the same day to study more. (better late than never)
    I still have a lot to learn to understand my daughter who is a diesel mechanic, she is kind to just know I listen, even if I don’t understand anything.
    It is nice that Colleen’s kids told her she is not a Dummy.
    Great advice. Thank you.

  10. Loved this touching post. I agree, Karen, stick to Putt-Putt ;-)
    I think I may need to be teachable on those computer games that capture my boys love so much…..maybe I might ‘get it’ if I try it!

  11. Hi, Karen – I have a freshman in high school who plays football, too! All my boys love football, as if lLOVE were a strong enough word! I bought the book you mentioned a few years ago, but never read it. (My boys told me I’m not a dummy-how sweet!) I’ve been thinking of taking a look at it since this season has begun. I do understand the basics, but maybe I could learn more. My patient husband tries to explain things to me, but there’s so much to learn. And the rules keep changing! Have fun at Spence’s games! We’ve got another one tonight!

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