Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Father's Day ~ 2011

Let's face it, it's often easier to surprise dad with a gift on Father's Day then it was to surprise mom on Mother's Day. Now I may be stretching it a bit here, but I believe it's because dads are easy -- at least when it comes to gifts. Most guys are happy with anything that has buttons, electronics or makes noise. Hence, any electronic or techno gizmo satisfies a man's gift expectations. So, an iPad, iPhone or anything with an "i" in front of it is sure to be a hit. Also anything requiring batteries is good, as would be just about anything related to a sport he enjoys, such as tickets to watch his favorite team play. Also high on the Father's Day gift list is stuff he can use to grill: BBQ tool sets, mitts, a meat thermometer, even a light to hook on his grill cover for overnight cooking. Always appreciated too are gifts of clothing. Steer clear here though of replacing his favorite garb, such as well-worn, workshop duds, beat-up T-shirts or loose-fitting sweaters when the weather turns cooler.

Equally appreciated are those special one-of-a-kind expressions of love hand-crafted by children and presented to dad. Some of the best memories dads will recall are opening gifts of plaster-cast molds of tiny hands, cleverly made construction paper cards and abstract clay creations that bear a faint resemblance to a bird or a vase. When I look at these special crafts today, I'm instantly transported back in time and relive the moment when I looked into the expectant eyes of my child, who was anxiously waiting to see if I would love their present. Those eyes will always remind me of the great gift I received with the birth of each of my children.

Father's Day is more than a time to honor dad, it is a time when dads cherish their role as fathers. Whether you are "dad," step-dad," granddad," "great-granddad" or "dad-in-law," you have a special place in the hearts of those who call you "dad." You are their leader, their model, their mentor, their teacher and their pattern for how to deal with life. Your individual characteristics, well known phrases and social values are all placed before the next generation to model and emulate. Your values shape theirs; your actions are a living illustration on how to act; your words are often repeated -- for better or worse -- verbatim. It is how life is -- like it or not. You are the dad, the leader.

For me, the best Father's Day gift this year would be seeing how the good I've contributed to my children is easy to spot and how the bad has been -- graciously and lovingly -- forgotten.

Happy Father's Day!

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