On this Father’s Day, it occurred to me that most of the sentiments in the Mother’s Day cards can also apply to dads. Usually, those Hallmark bon mots center on gratitude for the parental love, support and humor through the trying process of growing up. It’s a good thing to acknowledge, to be sure, but it lacks a little specificity.
In our house, some things require a dad’s help and know-how, including:
- Grilling stuff, especially meat of any kind. A note: this doesn’t necessarily include bacon, which vaporizes into thin, delicious-smelling air when cooked over too hot a flame.
- Tackling anything that requires patience, such as untangling a fishing line, teaching the kids how to ride a bike, or wiring anything to do with electricity, cable or computers.
- Using the proper technique to kill a bug. In our house, it starts with “Now, it’s just a spider/mosquito/fly; he’s not gonna hurt you,” before moving on to “Well, get me a tissue.” Then there’s a quick strike and a “Gotcha!” before culminating in “He’s an ex-bug now.”
- Soothing any fussy, colicky, or tired baby by settling them on his warm chest and intoning calming phrases in his deep, rumbly voice.
- Knowing all sorts of trivia, particularly anything to do with the 80s.
- Figuring out how to fix the broken and how to install the new, especially on any DIY project that I come up with.
- Being goofy with the kids and letting them break the rules every now and then. Staying up super-late while watching bad sci-fi movies and holding all-out Nerf-gun wars fall into this category.
- Determining when I have had it with the kids and ushering them outside/to the store to defuse the tension (like pick up flowers for me).
- Treating scraped knees, bruised egos and broken hearts with ice cream. Chocolate works the best.
Smart men, those dads. Happy Father’s Day!