Happy Father’s Day

This Sunday, dads and father figures will get their due. It should be a day that is celebrated well.

Father’s Day began roughly 100 years ago, as a complement to Mother’s Day, which had been established as a special Sunday to honour the central character of most families.

Since those early days, often celebrated from the pulpit by lofty sermons in church, it has now taken on an almost commercial flavour.

Either one of these holidays, honouring mom or dad, creates a stir for presents, maybe breakfast or brunch out at a restaurant, and almost always a card.

This Father’s Day we think of dads as the important male figure in a child’s life. A father, a grandfather, a step-dad, big brother, uncle or whomever that child sees as a father presence should be celebrated heartily this Father’s Day.

Personally, we get treated quite well for the day, with plenty of good food and cheer.

For us the cards we receive have often been a hand-crafted affair, as opposed to one picked out at a store. It has been interesting to note the changes over the years, as the kids went from toddlers and scribbles, to young ladies with a gift for words that demonstrates increasing insight into what adults try to be for their family. A dad is rarely perfect, but most try their best.

There really is little today in the way of an average, typical, Canadian family. Perhaps the closest we can come to typical is a collection of souls working together for a better life. Often that better life is really about getting time in this fast-paced world to enjoy things together. Sports or other leisure activities offer those quiet moments to talk and maybe then, there’s a chance for dad to impart a bit of wisdom or lend an ear.

All kids are different too and depending on age, have different needs. For one child, catching a ball or doing chores in the barn might make their day, while others need a hug or a sounding board to deal with the latest drama unfolding at school or with friends.

These lines of interaction can quickly become blurred, as parents attempt to negotiate that great chasm between being a friend and being a parent. It’s far easier being the fun guy, than having to play the heavy. As kids grow older they often begin to see what seemed devastating at the time was really pretty good advice meant to help, not harm.

Sparing kids the mistakes of their youth however, is a bit of a tightrope walk. It’s hard to learn responsibility when outcomes have always been massaged to not hurt too much.

Sometimes failure is one of life’s greatest teachers, but dads are pretty hard pressed to sit idly by and see kids hurting because things didn’t work out perfectly. Perhaps the best dads can do is just be there, and on-call when needed.

However you choose to celebrate Father’s Day, we hope everyone enjoys some special time with their dad this weekend.