June 19, 2006

First Father's Day

I often make fun of the "Hallmark holidays" - the ones like Mother's Day and Father's Day, or Grandmother's and Grandfather's days. I picture some team of people at greeting card headquarters across the globe brainstorming new holidays they can generate cards for. I'm secretly certain, given current trends, we're in for a whole slew of new holidays like Hooker's Day (and requisite Pimp's Day), Nanny's Day, Trashy Celebrity's Day and Favorite Blogger's Day (hint hint). So, yeah, I've had my fun at the expense of holidays like this most recent one but I have to say...it was my first Father's Day and I enjoyed it. I still don't see the need, but I had fun.

I don't need a day devoted to a celebration of fatherhood - specifically my role as a father within my little family unit. I'm quite capable of seeing that everyday. There is, in fact, no single thing more capable of reminding you of your fatherhood and its meaning than my child. Nor is there a greater lesson in understanding my own parents. I'm 33 years old and I'm finally figuring out that they knew what they were talking about...or if they didn't, they were winging it.

Last year, around this time, I was about to become a dad. I had a little over a month to go and I was in a really odd place, personally. I was consumed by a state of nervous apprehension, combined with anticipation and, if I'm going to be completely honest, a healthy dose of sheer-whatthefuckamidoing-terror. Today, a year later and one child richer, I find myself in another odd place consisting largely of nervous apprehension, anticipation and sheer-whatthefuckamidoing-terror. There are, however, a few new ingredients. There's the knowledge that I've never done anything greater in my life and never have or will had a more important job than being a father. And then there's the keen awareness of time and its slippage. Not to mention the knowledge that, as long as Beth and Mia are beside me, I (and we) can get through anything. Together.

We swam, we went to a party, we had dinner with my parents. Gifts were exchanged, naps were taken. And while all of those are wonderful moments, shared with the family I love more than anything, none of them required a special day. I wasn't more of a father yesterday than I was the day before or am today. If you need a day to make you feel like a dad, you're not doing your job. I like the thought of a holiday for dads, moms, grandmothers, grandfathers, secretaries and your veterinarian. They're nice. But everyday is, or should be, a celebration of family and the ones you love.

Posted by Chris at June 19, 2006 07:16 AM
Comments

Very well said. Bravo!

Posted by: Wicked H at June 19, 2006 07:47 AM

When we met with James' parents, James' dad said the same thing: I don't need a day to celebrate. Every day is father's day.

Congrats to you, Beth and Miss Mia for having such a fantastic family. :o)

Posted by: Emily at June 19, 2006 08:06 AM

Well stated, as usual. :)

Posted by: Alissa at June 19, 2006 08:09 AM

Happy Fathers day today and every other day for the rest of your life.

Posted by: Bill at June 19, 2006 08:18 AM

I love what you said, that if you need a day to make you feel like a dad, you're not doing your job. GOD, there are so many people I know who I wish would GET THAT, already. Having said that, I'm glad you had a good Father's Day. I think it's clear to anyone who reads this blog how much you love being a dad.

P.S. Don't think Nanny's Day isn't coming...

Posted by: Fraulein N at June 19, 2006 08:32 AM

Thats a verbatim account of my thoughts on these "days". Excellent entry!

Posted by: Dee at June 19, 2006 09:03 AM

"If you need a day to make you feel like a dad, you're not doing your job."
So perfectly said. (Can you call my ex and tell him that???)
At the same time, it's not a bad idea either to take a little time out to appreciate all the dads, moms, grandparents, etc. We all get so caught up in day-to-day life that we often forget to acknowledge the people we appreciate the most. Hallmark just reminds us to do so. ;)

Posted by: Traci at June 19, 2006 09:12 AM

Like the courtroom scene in 'Big Daddy' where everyone whipped out their phones and called to thank their fathers? That, man. That's what it is all about.

No, I totally get what you are saying and agree wholeheartedly. I fear that the only people who celebrate Father's/Mother's Day are the people who don't need the reminding. I do say a silent prayer for the children who don't have parents that...well, you know.

Posted by: angela marie at June 19, 2006 09:40 AM

Very nicely said, as usual. Pimp's Day is a GREAT idea because, you know, it's hard out here for a pimp.

Posted by: Beth in StL at June 19, 2006 09:57 AM

Very well put. And you do a fabulous job, Sugar!

Posted by: Queen of Ass at June 19, 2006 10:24 AM

Very well said. I abhor these hallmark holidays....

Posted by: Lisa at June 19, 2006 10:30 AM

I have mixed feelings about the Hallmark Holidays. Sure, they've been commercialized out of all recognition; on the other hand, wait until Mia brings you your very first hand made greeting card and craft (along with burnt toast and juice served to you in bed).

I don't think we need the special day but perhaps our kids do. Thank you mom or dad is always appropriate and the little kids enjoy it.

We don't have to buy into the glitz to enjoy the day.

Posted by: ann adams at June 19, 2006 11:13 AM

True hearfelt words.

Happy (Belated) Father's Day.

Shash

Posted by: Shash at June 19, 2006 11:33 AM

I agree but I still always make this a day where I spoil my dad and mate. I didn't do much, I let him pick out what he wanted for dinner and dessert, breakfast in bed and we don't exchange gifts--our gift is our child.

great post.

Posted by: Michele at June 19, 2006 11:45 AM

*CHEERS* and happy father's day (everyday)! That was a fantastic post! Oh, and that little girl is just TOO DARN CUTE (as I'm sure you already know)!!

Posted by: Celina at June 19, 2006 12:51 PM

True. There are too many people who wait to express their love/appreciation on one day and then let it slide the other 364.

Posted by: wordgirl at June 19, 2006 01:09 PM

Yeah, but presents are good sometimes, too! I think this is the day that the Sharper Image makes its biggest profit.

I agree with whoever said wait until Mia brings you her first handmade Happy Father's Day card and I say wait until she's old enough to burn pancakes and bring them to you in bed. Those are extra special days.

Plus, I think the affirmation is nice. Of course, we should be telling our Dads (& Moms) that they're great and we love them everyday, but it's fun to spoil them rotten once in a while.

Posted by: Ms. Q at June 19, 2006 01:17 PM

Poetic.

Although I think you misunderstand the holiday. It's meant for the kids, a reminder for them to wake up and appreciate the people who've influenced and supported them. Like my Mom. I'm STILL grateful for the shampoo and toilet paper, all the crap I forgot to buy once I was on my own. Thank God for free McDonald's napkins.

Posted by: Tink at June 19, 2006 01:56 PM

I agreed with Wicked H---well put!

Glad you had a nice first Father's Day! I am sure Mia is a lucky little girl :)

Posted by: at June 19, 2006 02:14 PM

We're planning a big BBQ for Trashy Celebrity's Day this year, y'all wanna come over?

There'll be Jell-o shots shaped like bad silicon implants, and we'll play "pin the fugly outfit on the celebutante", and have cupcakes dusted with powdered sugar "snow". Then we'll all try to hack each other's text messages and release them to the tabloids.

Happy Father's Day, anyway.

Posted by: Kate the Shrew at June 19, 2006 02:24 PM

Aw, that was very nicely stated. And all very true. I feel the same way about holidays like that.

Posted by: Kate at June 19, 2006 03:12 PM

Very Well put! Happy Father's day to you!

Posted by: molly at June 19, 2006 05:14 PM

happy father's day! maybe we can have a national crackhead's day! now that would be trendy and cool!

Posted by: jennster at June 19, 2006 06:09 PM

Sweet post, Chris.

(I also have the whatthefuckamidoing terror. I hear it lasts approximately 18 years, ohmigod, whatthefuckarewedoing.)

Posted by: Kristin at June 19, 2006 06:09 PM

I liked that. I feel the same way about mother's day. I'm glad it was a good one though.

Posted by: Melissa at June 19, 2006 06:36 PM

you know, all holidays should include napping.

happy day after!

Posted by: jodi at June 19, 2006 07:06 PM

I absolutely agree with you. I've never fully agreed with all these holidays, but then I don't have any day of the year to celebrate 'me', I mean, I'm not a mother yet, and there's not an 'editor's day', or 'regular person day', I guess I'll start to love them when I get to celebrate Mother's day. Hopefully 2007!

Posted by: Ava at June 19, 2006 07:31 PM

Totally agree...totally. Happy Father's Day (for today, too, then!)

Posted by: haley-o at June 19, 2006 07:38 PM

I thought Mother's and Father's Day were Hallmark holidays too, but surprisingly enough they aren't. :) Check out my post at What Does Fathers Day Mean To Me or Wikipedia.org.

Posted by: tod hilton at June 19, 2006 08:02 PM

Bravo!

Posted by: Dennis at June 19, 2006 09:50 PM

oh man...you got gifts? All I gave my husband was a smack on the butt.

Posted by: mrsmogul at June 20, 2006 02:28 PM

A very belated Happy Father's Day Chris :)

Posted by: laura at June 20, 2006 10:57 PM