Tuesday, June 14, 2011

My Four Fathers (The Boycott of Beer, Gas & Golf Jokes)

Father and Sons
When Father's Day comes around, I have four dads to buy for, so I do a thorough review of the entire card section before finding the perfect card for everyone. But this year, instead of finding heartfelt sentiments, I was struck by just how much junk there was out there. It seemed the majority of the cards were filled with bad jokes about beer, golf, and gas (ahem, not the kind you buy by the gallon).

Is this how we celebrate our fathers? Really?

I can't believe that. 

I cannot believe that the one day of the year we set aside to truly celebrate our fathers, we're going to hand Dad a card about air that comes out of our backsides. And I refuse to believe that we are maliciously unappreciative of our fathers. Maybe we can't sum up the impact of a father in fifty words or less. Perhaps we simply aren't as comfortable expressing our feelings for the masculine leader of the family. And oftentimes to mask discomfort, a (really bad) joke comes out.

There are so many things to thank our fathers for. Yes, even if it's just, "Thank you. Without you, I would not exist." (And, well, that's a pretty big one.)

Thinking of the four fathers I have in my life--Daddy, Gary, Hubby, and Mr. Parker--here are just a few:
  • Thank you for shepherding our family.
  • Thank you for taking responsibility when you didn't have to.
  • Thank you for treating me like a princess (when I wasn't one).
  • Thank you for loving our boys in ways that only a father can.
  • Thank you for wisdom and guidance.
  • Thank you for tolerating me (um, that goes for all of them).
  • Thank you for showing me the Heavenly Father's love by being my father.
This year, my cards may say any of the above, but they will not joke about beer, golf, or gas. That's just not what daddies are all about.

In an event this past weekend, I asked a smiley-faced girl with braces if she would like to make a Father's Day card. She shook her head no and broke into tears. Her aunt later informed me that her father had passed away. I know that if that red-headed girl had the chance to hand her father a card, she would tell him exactly what we all should say. 

If you have a living father to celebrate, make the most of that opportunity, every day. And if your father is no longer with you, spend your days wrapped up in the memories of him. If you have no father to speak of at all, well, just know that your Heavenly Father loves you more than all of the daddies combined. (And that goes for all of us.)

Daddies matter. So much.

How would you say thank you to your father today?

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