June 21st Father’s Day

The 3rd Sunday of June is reserved for Father’s Day. Probably the only person in the world that needs to be reminded of this day is… your father! It was first celebrated in Spokane, Washington on May 18th, 1910. I am not sure how it ended up in June but it did so just deal with it, that is sort of like being a dad. We think of Mother’s Day as probably being more important and most fathers would agree with that. Being a father is often more about being there than making a statement about it. A father protects his family, tries to provide for it and just wants to be there without getting in the way. We may not always understand why our fathers do what they do but we generally remember that they did it. Thank your father for just doing it, whatever it is.

How to celebrate – Remind your father that today is father’s day. Think of all the good things your father has done for you. Plan something special for your dad realizing that they do not want you to go out of your way.

June 16th Father’s Day

Today we honor all father’s. They may, or may not, be our actual father, they may be a step father or a person who treated us like one of their own children, it’s to honor the idea of being a father. Someone who cares, helps whenever they can and is always there for us… oh, and generally is full of bad jokes. The first Father’s Day was in Spokane, Washington on May 18th, 1910. It caught on and spread really fast since nearly everyone wants to honor their father by making a special day for them. In reality, just like Mother’s Day, it should be 365 days a year instead of just the third Sunday of June. However, since that would be hard to do, we pick, this year, June 16th. So go out of your way to make it a special day for them… after all, they’ve done what they could to make every day of your life a special day for you.

Howto celebrate – Honor your father (Whether they are actually related of not) Take your father to lunch (They’ll probably want to go someplace cheap anyway) Let your father know you love them.

June 17th Father’s Day

Well, we’ve already had Mother’s Day so we might as well move on to Father’s Day. It seems like a lot of us celebrate the day because we are expected to. We give Dad a tie or a golf club, fix his favorite meal or let him sleep in but that means we are missing the point. Dad’s, however, are people too.

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We may not show it as much, we may not fix all the boo-boos and prepare the every night meals but it does not mean we love our kids any less, it’s just in a different way. Dad’s are supposed to show strength, temperance and logic, even if they are none of those things themselves.

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Dad’s are often quiet when it comes to raise children. It’s not because they don’t care, it’s because they seem to think others know better. But they are there, supportive and doing the best they know how to do. (Of course there are exceptions) The day was created in Spokane, Washington on May 18th, 1910. Somehow it got moved to June (And Dad was okay with that) and became the third Sunday in June.

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I know in my case, my Dad tried to teach things he thought were important, things that interested him and things he knew I would benefit from. Some took, other things didn’t but I do remember the Christmas that he first gave me a gift from him. I think I was thirty or so and the gift was a hammer. It meant more to me than any other gift I had gotten to that point and I still have it today.

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No, Dad’s aren’t perfect. They make a lot of mistakes and sometime even say, or do, the wrong things. But you know what, it doesn’t matter. They are your father and all they want is your love.

How to celebrate – Just tell your dad you love them… no ties, no golf club… give them your own hammer.

National Parents Day

One of the toughest jobs in the world is being a parent. There are a lot of people who have children but that does not make them a parent. A parent is always someone who puts themselves second to their children, who see to the needs of their children even beyond their own, and is willing to teach, nurture and love unconditionally.

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But a parent must also be able to see the flaws in their children and dish out discipline when required. A child that gets everything they want, when they want it, without having to do anything to earn it, is not being a good parent and will lead to issues both now, and later.

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I have seen so many parents that want to be their kids best friend. That is not being a parent either. The children of parents that are “friends” with their children are more likely to let them get away with things they shouldn’t and not learn that to get respect, you have to give respect.

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And when it’s time to let go, a parent will know instinctively, a friend won’t. In the animal word the adult animal protects, feeds, and teaches their young until it is time for the young to move on. Then they  say goodbye and are likely never to see each other again. Fortunately as humans, we do not have to suffer the same fate but there is still something we need to learn from it. While we should always want to keep our children safe and secure, there are times when they will have to choose for themselves and we will not always be there when they have to make choices.

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So yes it is a job. Today was probably created by some group to sell more cards and gifts but that idea never caught on. It is simply a day, recognized by President Clinton, as day for children to honor their parents by spending a little time with them. For the true parent, there is no better gift.

How to celebrate – Thank your parents for all they have done for you. If your parents are no longer living, remember the good times with them and all the things they did for you. Take your parents to lunch or dinner or do a cookout for them.

June 18th Father’s Day

I am not qualified to talk about your father, or any one’s father, other than my own. I literally owe him everything. He made me who I am, both the good and the bad, and though I have not always agreed with him I have always trusted him and loved him without condition, just as he has me.

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He taught me things I did not even know he taught me. (Very possibly he didn’t know either!) He has always surprised me with the littlest of items but ones that have meant the most to me. Anyone can give you a gift, anyone can spend money on you and you will appreciate it but only a few people can give you things you cannot buy anywhere.

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We take them for granted. They are sort meant to be that way. Dads do not want credit or awards, they just want their children to grow up happy and contribute something to life. That might sound a little odd but as I get older I understand what that means. Living without giving anything, participating in life is not living at all, it is existing. And dads don’t just want their children to exist.

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My father spent his younger years as a farmer, growing things and working hard. As a child he made his children work in the fields, not doing anything hard, but doing something to contribute. At the time I hated every second of it, but now they are some of the fondest memories I have. It makes me think he knew that all along.

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So here’s to my father, and I hope to all of yours. He is the greatest man I have ever known and I hope he realizes that, though I bet he would disagree. It’s what we hold in our hearts that matters and in mine, my dad will always be my hero, my mentor and… well… my dad.

How to celebrate – Enjoy your father today, or more importantly let him enjoy you. Don’t give your dad a tie, he already has enough! Think of a gift that will mean something to him, more than just spending money make it something worthwhile.