Thursday, June 18, 2015

Rob: What Father's Day Means To Me

I’m not sure about the other dads out there, but around my house Father’s Day has never really gotten a whole lot of hype.  Growing up, I don’t remember putting on any ticker-tape parades for my dad either.  As a young child I’m sure I brought home the obligatory clay ashtray even though my dad didn’t smoke.  Can you imagine how incredibly inappropriate that would be as a class project today?

I have some hazy memories of graduating from school crafts to the good old tie and coffee mug gift and finally on to the current state with my own dad: A card and sometimes a trip to the movies during the month of June. 

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a pity party. I’m not trying to drum up sympathy for my poor neglected father and I’m certainly not trying a passive aggressive approach to get my wife to buy me that motorcycle I keep talking about.  However, I’m also not saying she shouldn’t do that….

Rather, now that I’m a seasoned father of three, I was thinking about Father’s Day and what it actually means to me.  I’m sure it means something different to each and every one of us. I’m also certain those feelings have been shaped and moulded by our experiences with our own fathers and children.  

I think, like many sons, I have often taken my father for granted.  When people ask me to describe my dad, I mostly talk about his interest in music, his passion for collecting art and my appreciation for the almost 50 years of marriage between he and my mom.  

What I don’t often do, is talk about all the wonderful things that my dad has done for me over the years.  I don’t take the time to tell people how much I have been influenced by many of the small things that my father and I have done together since I was a little boy.  Things that I doubt he even realizes like watching old wartime documentaries, going canoeing in Algonquin Park, sharing the best chicken wings in town at the local bar, shoveling the driveway together with him and my brother, going to McDonalds after Saturday morning hockey games and watching the original Star Trek reruns.  These things have shaped me and evolved into a love of history that comes from him in spite of my mother’s Degree in History and perhaps an unhealthy appreciation for all kinds of science fiction. Things like my dry, sarcastic, quirky sense of humour that I have come to appreciate more and more everyday (as seen in this shot from my wedding).

I also look at my own children and think about how I need to be more patient, more understanding and spend more time with them.  How I need to take the time to listen to them and hope that I can guide them into developing mutual passions that they'll want to share with me.  I want them to look forward to spending time with me and not just on Father’s Day.

When I was tucking my eldest daughter into bed the other night she was telling me that she was making me a Father’s Day present at school.  She was so excited and we had a wonderful conversation about how much we love each other.  Apparently it’s two times infinity plus one. Now, I would appreciate anything that she made for me but I think what I appreciate the most was the look in her eyes when we talked about the gift to come.

I think for me, Father’s Day has actually developed several meanings.  It’s an opportunity to reflect on those special moments that we've had with our fathers.  To really and truly appreciate the help and influence our dads have had on our lives.  It’s also an opportunity to give our children a chance to do and feel the same about us while providing us with a chance to appreciate the magic that is our kids.

For me, Father’s Day is not about the gifts, although again, I am not saying I don’t accept and appreciate them. Hint: motorcycle.  

In my world, Father’s Day isn’t about going golfing with the guys or getting out of the house for the day.  It’s not even about the actual day.  Rather, the important thing for me is what Father’s Day symbolizes: The special bond between fathers and their children and an opportunity to take the time to reflect on those special memories.

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  1. Your such a good Dad 😍 you really are :)

    1. Thanks Katie. I do my best and sometimes I get it right.

  2. Wishing you a fabulous Father's Day - here's hoping you get to make some more special memories and enjoy time with your children.

    1. Thanks Izzie. It's a busy house but I often find the days you don't plan much are the ones that create the best memories.

  3. I have taken my father for granted and it's only now I am a dad that I am really starting to appreciate him. Thank you for linking up #bigfatlinky

    1. It's so true Al. Fatherhood certainly adds perspective for the hard work our own dads did. I'm new to the linky concept but am liking it so far. Thanks for hosting.