Father’s Day — which is Sunday — is the perfect time to show appreciation for male parents and all they do for their families. It’s a day for dads.
Online research shows that Father’s Day began in Europe around 1500 as St. Joseph’s Day, honoring the earthly father of Jesus. Spanish and Portuguese Catholics brought the tradition to the New World.
Mothers are important. They did carry us around for nine months, more or less ... but Dad had something to do with that, too.
Some men aren’t very good parents, and others aren’t around at all, but a good dad is a treasure and can influence our lives in a way that we might not realize until he is no longer around to thank him.
A good father can be colorful and entertaining; a good granddad even more so. As the Bill Cosby America used to love once said, “Dad is the only person in the family who is allowed to have gas.” (“Hey! C’mere and pull my finger!” is a tradition that’s handed down from generation to generation.)
It’s frequently a dad who introduces a child to fishing. This can be a boy or a girl, and maybe even someone else’s kid. For as much as the kid enjoys it, the dad probably has even more fun.
Dad often takes his son for his very first haircut. Then he sits proudly, trying not to fidget as much as his son is fidgeting, while other men watch with big grins. They’re probably reflecting upon their own son’s first trip to the barber.
What may be our favorite movie scene is in “Field of Dreams.”
Ray Kinsella’s father John Kinsella is among the ghost ballplayers who come out of the cornfield. The son (Kevin Costner) is considerably older than his father (Dwier Brown), and there is no recognition of their relationship from either man. They were estranged, when last they saw each other in real life.
Finally, John is the only ballplayer left on the field. The two men talk for a while, and we get the feeling they are starting to become friends.
Finally, John starts to return to the cornfield.
That’s when Ray says, “Hey! Dad? Want to have a catch?”
John pauses and then says, “I’d like that.” They begin to do so, and that is how the movie ends.
This can’t help but rip the heart out of any man who would give almost anything to have another catch with his own father.
One of our favorite TV commercials takes place at a wedding. The bride is sitting on her new husband’s lap, looking gorgeous in her gown.
An older, distinguished-looking man comes to offer her his hand.
We see a closeup of them dancing cheek-to-cheek, and then the camera pans downward to show that she has taken off her shoes and has her bare feet planted on top of her father’s shoes.
This is how countless fathers have taught their little girls how to dance.
In a perfect world, kids grow up with a good mom and a good dad, but our world is far from perfect.
Sometimes, a woman who would otherwise be a good mother has to become a great mom. She’s in it by herself. Single mothers are some of the best mothers we have, and they can be heroes who raise some of the best kids.
We tend to forget that it doesn’t always happen that way. Another commercial made us sit up and think about the enormity of what it represented, the first time we saw it, because we have seen it played out in real life.
A girl in her early teens is sitting on a table, wearing shorts and a top. Her father is coaching her on how to shave her legs with a safety razor — something that in a perfect world her mom would be doing.
He even shows her how to stop the bleeding with tissue paper when she nicks herself.
After the lesson is over, she smiles and says, “Thanks, Dad.”
We would echo that.
Thanks, Dad. Happy Father’s Day.