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Fathers Deserve a Day

There is a pervasive image of fathers as slackers in the media but I am a firm believer that we should celebrate dads.
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Over the past few years, I've observed an interesting reaction when Father's Day is mentioned. At first it was a subtle rolling of the eyes. Then a friend confessed that she thought every day was Father's Day. It took me a minute to figure out that she was annoyed at the idea of Father's Day for whatever reason. As it came up a few more times, I realized that there might just be many more who agreed with the sentiment that every day is Father's Day. And to those who are in this camp, I must disagree. I am a firm believer that Father's Day is a great day.

Now I can understand some resentment over Father's Day if you had an absent father or have a contentious relationship. I understand that for those who have lost their father, the day might be emotional. And for that, I completely understand the complexity of feelings about the day. But even if you are in that boat, letting your kids take a little time show gratitude for their father in a way that is unique to them (drawing a card, making him breakfast, giving him a gift) is something I feel is valuable. Perhaps your kids have an absent father or a strained relationship. Could it be a chance for you to teach your kids kindness or forgiveness? A card to a father figure in their lives would be just as lovely and an exercise in kindness.

I think some of this might be coming from wives feeling like they already give dads breaks, so why is this day any different? Well, Father's day is for your fathers, not your husbands. Write a card or call your dad to wish him a happy Father's Day. It's not as if the day requires you to throw the man a party. Although, having him over for dinner, taking him to lunch, or making him some treats would simply be a kind gesture. If you feel like you must help your kids make elaborate plans for your husband, I think that if there is any resentment behind your efforts, you would be better off letting it go.

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There is a pervasive image of fathers as slackers and it's just simply not true. I refuse to buy into it. Which is probably why a Cheerios commercial from 3 years ago stands out so clearly among all the rest. It portrayed a father, more akin to what I know - a dad who plays, works and has fun. It's not the bumbling idiot dad that is more often portrayed in commercials. Fathers are partners in raising children, and partners in building families. For that, I have no problem at all giving them credit where credit is due.

Americans love their holiday. Moreover, they love to consume stuff for their holidays. We all like to complain about how Christmas stuff gets put out before Halloween or that now St. Patrick's is a huge thing with pressure to do silly Leprechaun antics for your kids. But there's clearly a demand because we love any excuse to celebrate and we like to buy stuff to celebrate. On any given day, there is some National (insert food here) Day. So how is it that we can all go crazy and buy out the local donut store to celebrate National Donut Day but find it hard to recognize, for one day, the efforts of a father? Helping your kids cover their hands in paint, put it on some card stock, and writing a sweet "what I love about dad" memory can't possibly be harder than making a Valentine's box for your kid.

So to those who think Father's Day is every day, I'm going to have to respectfully disagree. It's not every day that I stop to thank my dad for all that he's done for me, but it probably should be.


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