In honor of a month dedicated to fathers, we decided to switch things up a bit. Instead of asking one of our most beloved fathers what it’s like being a great dad, we interviewed his son behind the scenes. What has it been like having Eric Wright as a father? Let’s find out!
SCL: Describe your favorite childhood memory with your dad.
John William Wright: When I was about 13, my mom suggested I go outside and offer to help my dad, who was mowing the yard. So, I went out and waved him down and he smiled at me warmly and said, okay. He showed me how to operate the mower and illustrated how to turn it at the end of the line, then he gave me the reigns. He watched me push the mower for a couple of passes up and down the line. Satisfied, he left me to it. I beamed with pride. But I’d been set up! The imperative of pushing a heavy box up and down the yard every Saturday morning in the blistering Florida heat was now mine.
SCL: What is one of the funniest things about
JWW: His laugh. He has this full, loud laugh that just bursts out of him. I once went to the movies and didn’t know dad was in the same theater as me. But something funny happened in the film and boom, this one distinctive laugh cracked out. So, I asked myself, “Is my Dad in here?” He was.
SCL: Go into details about one of your biggest life lessons or decisions that your dad helped you with along the way.
JWW: I’ve been married for ten years now. Relationships that long either take a lot of fight or a lot of complacency. I remember meeting with dad once when my wife and I were going through a particularly rough patch. We had breakfast. I’m pretty good at making dad laugh so I danced around the issues for a while, but eventually we got around to it. “You’ll never be sorry for fighting for your marriage,” he said. It doesn’t mean the marriage will work out and it doesn’t mean there will be no heartbreak. It didn’t mean I was going to prevail. Failure happens all the time. But if I didn’t fight, if I just let it slip or gave up, I’d always be sorry.
SCL: What’s one of the major aspects you learned that you want to carry to your own kids as a dad?
JWW: When you’re a kid, your parents are the judge and jury. Dad was always a wise, thoughtful judge. For as long as I can remember, when I asked Dad a question, if he didn’t know the answer, he’d pull out the encyclopedia or dictionary and look it up. Sometimes it’s important to be able to say, “I don’t know.” Too many people can’t admit they don’t know or that they are wrong. Now, if somebody asks a question I don’t know the answer to, I look it up.
SCL: Describe a funny story or secret between you and your dad that nobody else knows.
JWW: I’m good at making dad laugh. I don’t know if I simply am that funny or if dad is just a good audience but he is always listening. He always wants to hear from me. There’s something about it that gets right back to that feeling of accomplishment and pride you got from your parents when you were a kid.