Let’s Talk About Fathers Day

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One of my favorite images of Christian as father, watching over us. This is Alex.

(Stepping onto my soapbox)

You know, dads really get shafted, compared to moms.

Mothers Day happens during the school year. We bring home potted flowers, little crafts showing hand prints, booklets extolling our virtues, sculptures and who knows what-all.

Fathers Day? Middle of summer break. In other words: nothing.

Mothers Day, we get bombarded with ads reminding us that moms need diamonds, flowers, clothes and perfume to make our day special.

Another of my favorite images, also of Christian with Alex in 2006.

Dads? They get a barbecue. Candy. Maybe a power tool, if they’re lucky.

News flash, people: it takes two to make a baby. Women are not the center of the universe. Men and women may be different, but both sexes have lessons to teach that the next generation needs.

I’m posting this four days in advance of Fathers Day this year in order to issue this challenge: find some way to make this Sunday truly special for the man who raised you, for the man who is your partner in raising your children. If you, like me, are grasping for ideas, check out that awesome little tool called the internet.

(Stepping down from my soapbox now. Have a nice day.)

Related Posts:

7 Things I Learned From My Dad

7 Things I Learned From My Mom

7 Things I Learned From My Dad

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It’s Father’s Day weekend. Father’s Day gets some serious short shrift in this culture. Kids spend a week making projects for Mom at school, and when Father’s Day rolls around—nothin’. Where’s the justice in that setup? So this week I dedicate my 7 Quick Takes to What I Learned From My Dad.

___1___

Nothing is as black and white as it seems.

___2___

The dirtiest work is sometimes the cleanest.

___3___

Sometimes keeping your mouth shut is the best way to get what you want. There’s a story behind this one. One summer while I was working for Dad on the farm, he called into town to sell some of his grain. They didn’t get it done, and that very day the price plummeted. The manager came out that afternoon and perched on the back of the hulking red cultivator we were repairing. Dad sat down beside him, and these two men proceeded to shoot the breeze while I sat, bored and fidgety, in the background. But after a while I began to realize that the visitor was waiting for Dad to open the awkward subject, to offer absolution and take the fall. Only Dad didn’t do it. He just sat waiting. This went on for an hour. An hour, folks. At long last, the manager slapped his legs, sighed and said, “Well…we’re gonna honor the price you were supposed to get. It’s gonna cost me, but we’ll honor it.” They shook hands, he left, and Dad and I went back to work. Now that’s a lesson, folks.

___4___

Hard work equals love.

___5___

As a child, you may not recognize the tender heart hiding behind the tough guy exterior. But it’s there. Wow, is it there.

___6___

From Dad, I learned the value of rising early. (In fairness, Mom tried to teach us this one—she got us up every summer at 7a.m. to work in the garden before it got hot—but we fought her kicking and screaming all the way.) I worked two summers for Dad on the farm, and the first was the Flood of 93. We couldn’t work in the fields for a really long time, and once the sun came out, we went into high gear. I remember rushing out the door at 6:45 a.m. to take full advantage of the weather, trying to keep up with Dad’s long strides as we crossed the grass to the driveway where the tractors waited. It was going to be a muggy scorcher of a day, but at 6:45 a.m. the dew was fresh on the grass, and the very air sparkled in the yellow, slanting rays of the newly-risen sun. There’s a magic in the first minutes of the day that is gone by the time 98% of the population gets out the door, and I would never, ever have experienced it if it wasn’t for Dad.

___7___

A faithful person doesn’t have to be a perfect person. You just have to keep trying.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad.