My Father … perhaps like yours … had many attributes. He was smart, funny, creative, patient, a gentleman; the list goes on and on. But the quality I remember most was his reliability. He was there for you. You could count on him ... and his good judgment. Even during spats as a teenager, I was secure in the knowledge that he was totally on my side.
I was lucky to have a caretaker dad. The summer I turned seven my two front teeth were missing. All summer my Dad cut watermelon into cubes so I could eat it. When I was 25, my Dad came to visit me in New York. Before leaving to return home he told me that of all the things he accomplished in his life, being a dad was the role he enjoyed the most.* And perhaps that's why he was so good at it and explains why I always knew he approved of me and would go to any lengths for me. Whatever the circumstances, good, bad or ugly, he was there for you.
My Father died a few years ago, so I'll spend this Father's Day Sunday remembering him and all the years we had together. And I'll feel lucky to have had him as my Dad.
Happy Father's Day to all fathers. May you receive the gift of having your children nearby and knowing how much they love and cherish you.
Ideas for Father's Day:
1. Spend the day with Dad. Engage in activities he likes. [a meal, theater, music, a movie, sports]
2. Call him and have a leisurely conversation. Be open and accepting. Take your cues from him and listen twice as much as you talk.
3. Make or buy him his favorite music. [records, CDs, or program an ipod]
4. Give him a favorite book.
5. Order him a magazine subscription he'll enjoy.
6. Put together a basket of favorite treats.
7. Fill a need, or bring him something that will make his life easier.
8. Spring for season tickets [for two] to an activity of his choice. Go with him if possible. [If you can afford it, make it for 3 or 4 and include your mother and/or spouse.]
*At the time of Dad's remark we were out sampling New York pizza, and I wondered what made him say such a thing. I was surprised, but pleasantly surprised.