Yesterday was Father’s Day, and as such, many a grill found a new home—not that there is anything wrong with that—and the collective closets of Dadville got a bit thicker in the necktie department. It happens. Even better, macaroni was raised to an art form, and father figures everywhere were openly recognized and publicly appreciated.
I think that’s fantastic. In fact, I have handmade cards from my own boys that go back a solid decade, and I will keep them always. I also have coupon books for free hugs and car washes that I’m totally sitting on until those things aren’t readily available. Bottom line, Father’s Day, for those that celebrate it, is a pretty wonderful thing.
Note: At this point I should acknowledge the obvious fact that there are countless folks that don’t celebrate the day, for any number of reasons, be they religious, family dynamic or other. As someone who has lost his mother, I get it. Mother’s Day is hard as hell, but I make the most of it for the sake of my wife and our children. Your personal experience may vary. Everybody, do you.
Keep Father’s Day With You (All Through the Year)
This Father’s Day was different. It started with the Sunday comics, most of which were pretty stereotypical Father’s Day fodder, assuming they acknowledged the holiday at all, and they were cute and funny; however, Zits, by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman, kind of floored me. Here it is:
Right? RIGHT? I mean, come on.
In the span of six frames I am standing in my own fatherhood, swirling even, while simultaneously becoming a teenage boy again, making so many bad decisions—not that there weren’t good made, too—but the bad? Those stick with you. Meanwhile, back in the moment, my own teenage son is hugging me with a plate of breakfast pressed against the small of my back. My tween son, a card addressed to Daddy.
The Card Addressed to Daddy
The card featured an image of a family on the front, with the words: A rescue gift of emergency cookstoves.
Inside was the context:
The small flames from an emergency cookstove can make a big difference in the life of a refugee family. In addition to providing a warm meal, the stoves can boil water so it is safe to drink. This Rescue Gift represents a tool of the International Rescue Committee’s humanitarian work around the world.
A gift of emergency cookstoves has been dedicated to you by your sons.
We know how important it is to you to help others and we are very proud of all that you do. Love, the boys.
The irony of course is that their being proud of me for whatever it is they think I do, made my pride in them swell tenfold. We’re talking all the way to the moon and back stuff. And while I know that my wonderful wife played a part in this, the fact that the boys recognized there are things bigger than us in this world, and that helping others, however we can, is the real gift—man, that’s a gift well made. That’s a damn good decision.
You can give the gift of kindness, too. Visit Rescue.org/Gifts and give your own Rescue Gift to friends and family. You’ll all be glad you did.
Top photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash
Whit Honea is the co-founder of Dads 4 Change and the Social Media Director of Dad 2.0 Summit. Deemed “the activist dad” by UpWorthy (and one of the “funniest dads on Twitter” by Mashable), he is a regular contributor to The Modern Dads Podcast and the author of The Parents’ Phrase Book—a family guide to empathy that you should totally buy.