I bet I know what your dad wants this Father’s Day.
If you came here looking for a shopping list for dad on Father's Day, you came to the wrong place. If you came here for a little wisdom, and a personal story or two, stick around.
Like many, Father's Day and its associated meaning has changed for me over the years. As we progress through our lives, we take on different roles.
When I was younger, Father's Day was a time for giving my dad ties, dress shirts or belts and reminding him that we appreciated everything he was doing to provide for our family. Growing up my dad worked hard, every day. I'm not sure I did enough to show my appreciation.
Google's Definition of "Dad" is Wrong
We all use Google to look things up. Well, that's what I did one day when trying to figure out if "Dad" and "Father" meant the same thing.
Go ahead, try it yourself right now. "Okay, Google. What's the definition of dad?"
Google says dad and father are the same thing, but I respectfully disagree.
Here's what I think the real definition of "dad" is and why I think it's time for Google to make a distinction between a "father" and a "dad".
Read my definition and let me know what you think!
My Evolving Relationship With My Dad
My relationship with my dad is complicated. I'm sure I'm not alone in that regard.
After losing my mom at the age of 15, my relationship with my dad changed. My parents divorced when I was around 9 or 10 years old and my dad went from splitting custody to being a solo dad.
My dad did his best. I see that now that I'm an adult and a father as well. He wasn't perfect, but he really tried.
Becoming a Father: From Celebrating to the Celebrated
One very memorable day in 2002, Father's Day took on a whole new meaning for me when I became a father for the first time.
Roles changed in an instant. Suddenly, my dad was "Grandpa" and I was now the pending recipient of gifts on my special day.
But it wasn't just about the gifts for me. It was more than the changing of the guard as well. It was a right of passage, of sorts. I went from being the son to being the father.
I went from celebrating to being celebrated, all in a matter of moments.
Father's Day means a lot to me, especially now that I have two boys. I realize how much responsibility I truly have. I try not to take the time we spend for granted and any such celebration means just a little bit more to me than it would have otherwise.
Being a dad twice over also makes me appreciate all that my dad when I was a boy. Having been a dad now for nearly 15 years, I know how difficult it can be at times, how rewarding it can be and how much parents really bear the brunt of life so that their kids can just be kids.
What your dad actually wants for Father's Day
Father's Day and its meaning hasn't changed much for me since I originally wrote my this Father's Day post back in 2012, but its meaning does continue to evolve for me.
This Father's Day, I realize that I finally understand what my dad likely wants on his special day.
It's not a tie.
It's not a belt or dress shirt.
I'm willing to bet my dad would like a sincere "thank you" for all he's done.
Being an involved father is one of the most most gratifying duties a man can have - but it's also one of the most thankless as well. Take the time this year to stop what you're doing and give thanks to your dad for all he's done. If he's anything like mine, it's been quite a lot.
Thanks, Dad. From the bottom of my heart.