And hopefully we take those title seriously and strive to be the best fill-in-the-blank we can be.
Father's Day is Sunday - have you earned your title?
Some interesting facts about Father's Day: First celebrated in a small church in Virginia in 1908 to complement Mother's Day, it was many years before it was accepted or acknowledged as a "real" holiday (as opposed to some of the Hallmark holidays that fill the calendar). In fact, despite a bill being drafted in 1914 and support of President Coolidge in 1924, it was not a recognized federal holiday until 1966.
From its humble beginnings 100 years ago, this relatively new holiday has evolved, or perhaps devolved would be a more accurate description. A day that was created for one simple reason - to honor men for one of the greatest contributions they could ever make in their lifetime, to be a father to their children. And yet more often than not lately, confusion reigns supreme on the third Sunday of June.
Sunday afternoon Chuck E Cheese's everywhere will be swarming with men between the hours of 12 and 3, watching the clock and wondering if they're going to be done in time to catch the last few innings of the game. Have those men earned their titles? Umm, no.
Grandpas across the country will be manning the grill as teenagers stare moodily at tvs or ipods, remote controls in hand while their mothers smugly count how many father's days they've spent with their children. Where's dad? He's at someone else's family gathering, cell phone in hand, waiting anxiously for a call, a text, something from his children since the card he keeps telling himself they sent seems to have been lost in the mail. To those moms - YOU are not the Dad. Stop being martyrs. Seriously. He left YOU, not your children. If raising children that are bitter and jaded who have an unhealthy view of marriage and adult relationships was your goal here, well, congratulations, you win the prize, mission accomplished. (And by the way, all the bitterness shows on your face and it's so not attractive. Your alimony check can't buy enough Botox to hide it.)
Don't get me wrong, I know there are many homes where Dad will be woken up by burnt toast, a mug of coffee and adoring faces. That man has earned the right to be called Dad. He's a Dad with a capital D. Wear that "I'm a Dad" shirt proudly (even though it stretches a bit uncomfortably across your belly and there's jelly on the sleeve). You have earned it.
There's another kind of dad I know of. The kind that picks up Ziggy from school, knows her friends by name, attends her chorus concerts and makes her pick up her socks. Takes her to doctor's appointments when I can't, knows why she shouldn't wear Red Sox shirts and remembers that she prefers m&m McFlurries over oreo. The kind of dad who, when her biological father won't pay for music lessons and summer camps insists that she won't miss out, insists she participate in every activity that will contribute to her becoming a well-rounded young woman. The dad who will walk her down the aisle. The dad who doesn't get the title, but still does the job.
Happy Father's Day to all you men who have earned it.