Here’s to Dad’s Day
Vail CO, Colorado
“Father” is a funny word and an interesting concept. It can mean anything from a fleeting liaison that resulted in a pregnancy to a lifetime commitment to one or more children. For that reason, thinking of today as “Father’s Day” makes less sense than calling it “Dad’s Day.” In short, most any man can become a father, but it takes a tremendous effort to earn the title “Dad.”
It may be a Hallmark holiday, a transparent attempt to sell greeting cards and barbecue tools, but Dad’s Day is almost always a good time to stop and think about what our own fathers have meant to us. For some, regrettably, it may be very little: More than 30 percent of U.S. households are single-parent efforts, and most of those lone caregivers are women. Men can have an unfortunate tendency to absent themselves from the parenting picture, leaving moms with double duty while missing out on what is one of the best and most demanding jobs on the planet.
But since there’s no “Absent Father’s Day,” we celebrate the man who stuck around and changed our diapers, read us bedtime stories, played horsey and, later, taught us to drive and balance a checkbook. He helped get us through the K-12 gantlet, maybe paid all or part of our college tuition and did his best to install a moral compass he hoped would guide the way ” even when he wasn’t there to wag a finger at us.
Being a dad may be a job in many ways, but it also represents a choice. To be there at every moment, at every little league game or tortuous violin recital, is to make an ongoing decision at presence ” and that goes for biological dads as well as the adopted, step and foster variety.
To all those dads out there who made that choice and reiterate it daily to your kids, we honor you on this day.
Now go try out that new spatula.
” Alex Miller for the Editorial Board
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