I went Father’s Day card shopping this week, and for the millionth time I thought to myself, “I should be a greeting card writer.” I couldn’t possibly be any worse at creating cards than the people who made the crap I sifted through for nearly an hour.
Do these people HAVE fathers? Do they speak to them? Do they know ANYTHING about them?
I am a fan of dads. I have a dad. I’m married to a dad. I know a few others.
I feel I can say with confidence that the majority of the dads I know fall somewhere in between the tie-wearing, golfing, fishing, tight-ass emotionally detached stereotype and the beer-drinking, crude joke telling, flatulence-filled handymen that are represented in the majority of these cards.
There seems to be a one-size- fits-all approach to Father’s Day, and I think it’s really unfair. Dads are multi-dimensional. They aren’t Ward Cleaver and they aren’t Al Bundy. They are so much more than that.
So, here is my tribute to the dads I know. I hope I don’t miss anyone.
To the men who get up early every day to sit in traffic and spend 8-10 hours in an office to provide for their families
To the men who work the nightshift and still try to function during the day because that’s when their kids are awake
To the men with physically taxing jobs that sap them of their energy and strength by the end of the day
To the men who work from home so they can send their kids off to school and be there when they step off the bus in the afternoon
To the men who serve in the military and miss so many of the big moments in order to fulfill their duty
To the men who rearrange their schedules to be at as many sports practices, dance recitals, doctor’s appointments and school conferences as possible
To the men who ache for the flexibility to do that, but can’t
To the men who walk in the door ( instead of heading to the bar or some other refuge) knowing that before they can take their coat off someone in their household is going to dump a list of problems and/ or chores on them
To the men who know that they deal better with all those chores and/or issues once they’ve had a chance to let off steam at the bar or the gym or the driving range
To the men who play catch with their kid or kick around a ball from the time they can walk
To the men who sit with their kids and read them stories
To the men who do it themselves
To the men who know when a job is best left to an expert
To the men with hormonal daughters that leave them baffled but still sit and listen to their girls in hopes of understanding
To the men with sons they don’t know how to connect with, but they keep trying
To the men who don’t get to see their kids every day
To the men who have to see their kids all day, every day
To the men who have come out on the short end of a custody battle but keep fighting
To the men who have stopped fighting so there can be peace
To the men who do it all on their own
To the men who have lost a child and will never be the same
To the men who lie awake at night wondering and dreaming about who their baby will grow up to be
To the men who lie awake at night wondering how their baby grew up so fast
To the men who didn’t have a father to emulate so they’re figuring it all out as they go
To the men who had a great father and want to live up to their legacy
To the men who know whatever kind of father they want to be, it’s nothing like the father they had
To the men who worry they aren’t doing it right but don’t realize their self-examination is a strong indicator they are on the right track
To the men who’ve made mistakes and owned them
To the men who show up, who are in their kids’ corner, who push when it’s necessary to push, but still have a shoulder to cry on when needed
To the men who are strong for their families even when they are afraid
To the men who love their kids in the best way they know how…