First off, Happy Father’s Day to all of you who are fathers. Hopefully you have earned a relaxing day.
This morning when I thought about a post on Father’s Day, I was planning on taking a very cynical approach to the day. So the next two paragraphs are what I wrote this morning.
As you might expect, Father’s Day came about after we had already been celebrating Mother’s Day. If you read a little about the holiday, it was first proposed to match up with the already-popular Mother’s Day. When it did not take off to be celebrated as much as Mother’s Day, the New York Retailers Association tried to get Father’s Day acknowledged – mainly to sell clothes and accessories to men. Thus confirming what I always thought – this is a made-up holiday to sell something. It was not until the mid-1960’s that Lyndon Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation for fathers. So Fathers’ Day has not been a big deal for very long.
Do we really need to have a “Hallmark Holiday” for Fathers? Most fathers “signed up” for the job. We all have a special day already – it’s called our birthday. Do fathers really need a day where they (theoretically) get to do what they want to do?
As today progressed, I read a few things about fathers and I spent a little time reflecting (one of my personal goals for this year). And I realized that it is not the DAY that is important, it is the TIME we spend to reflect that really matters. My Dad left a lot of lasting impressions in my mind. Perhaps most importantly, I never wanted to let him down (even though I am sure that I did). To Dad, family came first. I realize now that is what makes life great. I also learned from him that you can be a father figure to others who may need that guidance. Providing that father figure may make a difference in someone’s life. So while I probably do it in different ways from him, I’ve strived to be like him – welcoming to others, interested in listening to others, willing to help in whatever way I can.
So, I think Fathers’ Day is here for us to reflect on fathers. Everyone has a different experience. Some lost a father at a young age. Some don’t have great relationships with their father. Each of us see our fathers (or someone who is a father figure) in different ways. In today’s world, where so much is going on all of the time and information is instantaneous, we get busy. So if it takes a day like Fathers’ Day to cause us to reflect – even for five minutes – about fathers, then I support it.
I’d like to think that my father was up in heaven looking at me today gently nudging me away from this morning’s cynicism toward this evening’s more positive realization. That is just the way he worked. Happy Fathers’ Day, Dad!