Celebrating Father’s Day

By Ben Lusz, Director of Events and Volunteers

According to eHow, Father’s Day was founded by Sonora Smart Dodd in 1909, who recommended celebrating your father by pampering him with what he wants. Ms. Dodd then dives into three example areas:

  • Providing Dad with a meal he will really enjoy (such as beer can chicken)
  • Taking Dad to an outing he has been discussing (such as a baseball game)
  • Setting Dad up with an opportunity to take on a skill or task he regrets not doing sooner (such as piano lessons)

***Warning the next paragraph is shameful organizational promotion***

The article is so insightful, you are even reminded to give a donation to your favorite non-profit if your father has passed. Gifts of yore include some sort of golf-related paraphernalia or even the actual activity. If you are golf-inclined, think of supporting The Adoption Exchange by participating in the Champions for Children Golf Classic on June 23, or Celebrate – the golf pre-party on June 22.

***Now back to my random thoughts on Father’s Day***

Several years ago I sat in a church service and listened to the female pastor explain that she really didn’t like the Mother’s Day sermon. She felt that your role in the family isn’t defined by your gender. A father can be as caring and nurturing a parent as the typical mother.   My partner and I sat there thinking someone outside of our bubble actually gets it. I was raised by a single woman and she was both the nurturer and the strict parent. When I am fortunate to be home and walk to the store on a week day, I see an equal number of fathers who appear to be stay-at-home parents as I do mothers. One could say the times are changing, or one could say we are finally willing to acknowledge everyone’s role is defined from within and what works for their specific family.

My partner and I were fortunate to be listed as a resource for prospective gay fathers. One afternoon, we hosted a young couple for tea (very stereotypical). Before these guys arrived, we asked our own two boys for their perspective on having two dads, and what was the hardest part. In unison they responded “MOTHER’S DAY.”  The fun part about family-designed roles is also figuring out the holidays.  In our house we have decided as a unit which holidays get observed and which ones can keep on doing their thing without us. The tooth fairy went by the wayside, and leprechauns are only to be found in the Lucky Charms.  With two fathers in the house, we don’t really discuss it, but our boys make us breakfast on Father’s Day. On Mother’s Day we try to acknowledge our dearest lesbian friends, since they are in the same boat as we are.

I am processing this in written form here to say that not everything fits in boxes — Father’s Day included. If you don’t have a relationship with your father, think about a grandparent, mentor, or uncle. Or don’t feel the pressure to acknowledge at all. If you want to be traditional, go for it with gusto (don’t forget Champions for Children!), and if you want help thinking out of the box ask your children, or use google (the interwebs is a big world – you can lose days on Pinterest).

Most importantly, enjoy the time with your family and friends, and try to think of them more often than just this one day a year.

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