Let's hear it for the fathers! That phrase reminds me of that song from the 80s, "Let's hear it for the boy... let's give the boy a hand..." In today's media culture, unfortunately, most dads are portrayed in a hopelessly silly, and ignorant way. They aren't super smart, they can't figure things out, and they make a mess out of the every day. Seriously, watch some TV and you'll see it! The men I have the privilege of knowing as fathers are nothing like that (for the most part- we all have our flaws). My husband, and dad, for that matter, can cook, and they do the majority of all the laundry every week. They can fix almost anything, and (this is important) they know when to stop if the said project is beyond their expertise.
We, as a culture, don't celebrate dad enough, I think.
My husband works... a lot. To put it lightly, he is at work as much as he is at home. For our family, he works that hard so I can be home with the kids. His job besides being DAD is to generate the income, and so, I run the day-to-day, the kids, the house, the cars, etc. We do make a lot of sacrifices, but it is such a blessing for me to not have to work outside the home. I know that I don't tell him enough how proud I am to be his wife, and I know I could never convey just how much I appreciate him. So, for Father's Day, I love to do a few little things to celebrate all things "DAD".
The children and I try to do the obvious things, like make him breakfast, and sing to him in the morning (I'm not sure the singing is so loved, but it's the thought that counts). We make cards and usually we plan to eat out, because that is a treat in our house (I am not the best cook...). Other things we like to do are hide notes for him in pockets, shoes, bags, and on mirrors, so that he gets little reminders all day and throughout the week that tell him about how cool we think he is. This year, I think we might take over the yard work, too... just so he doesn't have to do it.
Another thing to consider is what we (the kids and I) might think is a good way to celebrate Dad, is not necessarily what Dad thinks is a good way to celebrate Dad. A trip to the zoo, for instance, in my mind, is a wonderful way to spend the day together. I envision happy, smiling kids, beautiful snapshots of animals, and ice cream cones on the way home. I forget that there will be horrendous traffic getting to the zoo, it will most likely be ninety degrees at the zoo, all the animals will be hiding in the shade, and bees will be attacking us as we try to have our ice cream... Let me just say this: Dad does not want to go to the zoo (I can neither confirm nor deny that this was an actual event one year). So, give Dad the option of celebrating the way he wants to celebrate! We have literally settled on just taking a nap and hanging out -armed with books and dvds- in recent years. He really just wants a quiet afternoon (silver lining: it's free)! That is truly-for-real what my husband wants. So, young mothers and wives, just a little advice: find out what the "perfect day" looks like from his perspective.
Remember to honor your Dad, too! I worry so much about celebrating my husband, that it's easy to neglect my own father figures in my life. My dad was Navy, so we travelled a lot, and he was gone sometimes for quite a while. My "Papa" was my mom's dad. He also served in the Navy, and we had the privilege of living close to him while my own dad was "on cruise". As I got older, I learned that he was actually a step-father, technically, but he was the only grandfather on my mom's side that I ever knew. My Dad's dad was a farmer in North Dakota, so we didn't see him very much, but back in the stone age, I remember calling him on the telephone and wishing him a happy father's day. Both of these men loved me and had awesome stories to tell, and really left an impression on me. So, don't forget your uncles, brothers, and friends who are all trying to leave and live this legacy of fatherhood. It is a great and noble thing to have a father to honor for a day, and throughout the year. This one day, though, they get to be "king"!
I don't want to neglect to mention that some of you don't have good memories of the father, or father figure in your lives. I hope and pray that your day isn't painful. I know too well, that not every story is a happy one. I'd like to offer hope for the changes that you may be trying to make in your own lives, or in the lives of others, or your children's lives, if this is what you are faced with. You are championed- from me to you!
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!!