I’ve never been one to ask for what I want, to really know what that is and to simply ask for it. When Father’s Day came around this month and my wife asked me, “what do you want to do? What do you want this day to mean?” I was stumped. It didn’t even occur to me that this day should now mean something new to me.
Son, if you ever read this when you’re older, take this article as my attempt at asking for what I want this day.
- Gifts: nothing stereotypical please, unless you’re doing it ironically. And, at seven months old right now, I don’t think irony is a developmental milestone for you quite yet. Basically, no ties, cufflinks, shaving equipment, etc. Your mother saves your poop diapers for me to clean up, so I expect a little thought in my gifts as recompense. (After saying all that, I swear if you give me a diaper for a gift… sigh, who am I kidding. I’d be so proud.)
- Whatever routine or ritual we come up with, no matter how silly, let’s keep that going for as long as possible! Just the other day someone showed me the #cheeriochallenge (stacking cheerios on your kid’s head while they’re sleeping). That seems a prime contender at the moment, even though I only managed six before it toppled and woke you up. Let’s workshop this.
- Carte blanche on all the dad jokes I make. Granted, I’m gonna do dad jokes all year long, but on Father’s Day you have to high-five me for each one.
You know what? I’m sure we’ll figure it out together. This article started out as asking for what I want and what this day means to me.
What I want is what I have: a beautiful relationship with my boy, filled with love and laughter.
What it means to me is, at least for this very first one that I’m celebrating, something very specific and overdue:
To my own father, I can’t possibly thank you enough for everything you’ve given me. We never did a lot on this day and the gifts have been severely lacking, but as cliché as this is, it really isn’t until I was a parent that I realized how much I took for granted. How exhausting we must’ve been!
Thank you for giving me what you didn’t have: nearly four decades of a father’s love and guidance. That’s really what we want to do as dads, to give our sons more than what we’d had. After everything you’ve given me, it’s going to be tough giving even more to my son, but it’ll be fun to try. I love you, daddio.