Saturday, June 20, 2015

Taking Back Father's Day

When I was a kid, Father's Day was all about making a craft out of popsicle sticks and  a special card  expressing all the ways in which I loved my dad. He would, of course, read every misspelled word incorrectly that started down a 20 year path of him calling it Fat-hers day. It was simple, it was important.

Then.... I became an adult. I began to see just how complicated a holiday like Father's Day became.

When my husband became a dad, I started to see just how heated the debate became about how to celebrate it. Instead of taking time out of a church service to recognize all of the dads out in the congregation, it became a solemn, reflection time out of respect for those who had lost a father.
Instead of my facebook feed being full of best wishes to dads out there, it became flooded with blog after blog of reasons why, out of respect for those who have lost a dad, we shouldn't celebrate it so loudly.

There are a lot of reasons why celebrating Father's Day to some people is hard. Some people's Fathers were not great, some left too soon, others never got the opportunity to be fathers at all. I do respect that. But I think it's all the more reason to celebrate the dads out there that are just doing their best.

There are so many dad jobs in this world that get overlooked. So many moments in a dad's life when they scrub vomit out of the carpet, or work tirelessly on that science project. There are a million serious talks they must have, and pick ups and drop offs they have to remember. Some dads have to miss the big game because they're at work, and feel that guilt of wanting to make it up to their kids. Some of them work ridiculous hours and still find the time to read to their kids, or tickle them before they go to sleep. Even as their children grow up and leave their house and only remember to call them when they need help or money, they're still there, doing those silent jobs that they seldom get appreciated for. The world would be an awfully crummy place without dads in it.

I lost my dad 3 years ago, in my opinion way too soon. I will always miss him. I will always be sad that he's gone. But I don't ever want that to get in the way of celebrating Father's Day.
 I can still remember that he was my dad for 30 years. I can still be thankful for the time he was my dad. I don't need a look of sympathy or for people to hide the fact that they still have incredible dads in their lives. In fact  I don't want them to. I don't want for people to take away the honor that so many hard working dads out their deserve because of my grief. Dads are important, they should be honored.

Now in my household, Father's Day belongs solely to one man in my life. A man who works 40 plus hours a week and goes to school full time and still manages to make my kids feel loved and appreciated. A man who takes the time to have the hard discussions with his kids and to balance that with ridiculous amounts of kisses and cuddles and wrestles and tickles. A man who goes to every performance, every game, every special moment in my kid's lives because he knows how important it is not to miss.

So.. I'm taking back Father's Day. For Tim, and every other dad out there who's just doing the best they can. I salute you. I respect you. I honor you. Your kids...treasure you. This is your day, nobody can or should take that away from you.

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