Scripps-Howard News Service
I have always enjoyed Father's Day, and it's not because I'm a guy.
I think this holiday is special because I get to celebrate and be celebrated. You see, although my dad is no longer around, I make the day about him, even though I may receive a gift or two. I like to feel that he is somehow still with me in spirit, and making Father's Day about him is heartwarming and a little heart-pulling as well.
If I had my way, I'd spend the day in shorts and T-shirt, hanging out in the backyard with the family. However, most of the time they have made the decision that we need to go to brunch rather than watch me burn some hot dogs on the barbecue, and I get it. But really: How often do we do what we think Dad would like rather than actually ask him how he wants to spend the day?
Don't get me wrong. I love the attention and the party, but I know my own dad would have wanted a big breakfast, followed by 18 holes with me and a buddy or two, and a nice dinner. Since he isn't here anymore, my thinking is to take the family to his club and have dinner in his honor. I might even bring his hole-in-one trophy to use as a centerpiece.
Making the holiday about my dad allows me to feel like I am giving back to the man who helped make me what I am today. We had a good relationship because we worked on it. He taught me about life and business -- good lessons from a good man. So continuing to honor him one or two days a year seems very appropriate. When I remember what he gave me, I have to find a way to say thanks.
As an adopted child, I never was made to feel that I wasn't good enough or that I was somehow different. My father loved me unconditionally, and although I'm sure his hair loss was half my fault, I got an upbringing that exposed me to many aspects of life. If my parents had not decided to give me a home, I doubt that would have happened, and I will always be grateful that I was given those opportunities and options.
If you and your dad are not on good terms, but you'd like to be, this could be a good day to bury the hatchet. Remember, too, that we all fall short of each other's expectations. No one can spend life on a pedestal - everyone slips a little -- so don't let a few bad moments ruin a lifelong relationship. Right now is when you should be giving your father and yourself the benefit of the doubt.
My father passed away before I was out of my 20s. If yours is still around, cherish this time and celebrate the love you have for the man who helped raised you.