Here’s what my husband said when I asked him about Father’s Day. “The best thing about Father’s Day is when your children notice you.” Wow, I didn’t expect such a basic, yet profound, response. It’s really the bottom line, isn’t it? Knowing that you matter is just about the most important thing in the world. Come to think of it, you should see how his face lights up when the phone rings on Father’s Day… twice.
Even though men hide their emotions more, dads want pretty much the same thing as moms do: to know they matter to the children in their lives. If you’re close to your dad, and live nearby, you’re lucky, you get to spend time together on this special day. If you still have children at home you get to celebrate in-house. The key word is “time”, the only gift that really counts. But if that’s not possible, a simple phone call substitutes. Five minutes out of your day means worlds to the person on the other end.
Lots of the emotional stress in life is tied to the relationship we have with our parents, no matter what our age. Even if there’s no relationship at all, being estranged only adds to stress levels. Life can be hard, and it’s comforting to have a built-in cheerleader — if possible.
As parents, we all screwed up to some extent. Let’s face it, we pretty much didn’t know what we were doing. But when we knew better, we did better and prayed that it cancelled out the some of the mistakes we made along the way. Realizing that my own dad didn’t know what he was doing either has helped me to let go of the distant past.
I often wonder what would happen if Father’s Day was treated with half the media hoopla as Mother’s Day. It’s true that women are generally more sentimental than men, but just think about the difference and what it says to men. The attention we give mothers versus the mention that dads get. What if we lavished the same media blitz on fatherhood? Would dads feel more cherished? More responsible? More valued? They might poopoo it all, but I wonder…..
What do you think? Do you agree that it might make a difference if dads felt more valued? Would they play a bigger part in parenting? Am I full of hooey?