So, I have a confession to make. I love Father’s Day. Given the fact that I have been a dad, and more specifically, an at-home dad, for nearly seven years, my identity is fairly tied up in my role as “father.” The way that we have sorted out our lives, I happen to be the one that does the majority of the laundry, grocery shopping, food preparation, school logistics, doctor’s appointments, sports practices, homework checks, etc. Certainly, none of this makes me a better parent than my wife, and it doesn’t make me a better father than other dads, but it does leave me out of the running for “Employee of the Month,” a $25 Amazon Gift Card for a job well done, and other expressions of appreciation one might receive in the workplace.
I know that my wife and my children are very appreciative of what I do every day, and my wife is great about saying “thank you,” but the fact of the matter is, most of what I do is only noticed if I don’t do it.
Son 1: Dad, where’s my soccer shirt?
Me: It’s in the laundry. I haven’t washed it yet.
Son 2: Dad, we’re having pasta and red sauce again!
Me: Yes, I haven’t ordered our groceries yet.
Son 1’s Teacher: Matt, I need the permission slip for the museum trip coming up.
Me: Oh yeah, sorry, it’s still sitting in the pile with the other 20 flyers that came home this week.
I’m not looking for extravagant gifts, but I am looking for something that requires some effort and planning. Last year, they planned a terrific trip to a winery in the Hudson Valley that included a great lunch followed by ice cream at a nearby stand with one of the most beautiful views I’ve ever seen. The year before, we went to the New York Botanical Garden on one of their Edible Garden days followed by lunch at a highly recommended restaurant on Arthur Avenue, the more authentic versions of Little Italy in the Bronx. Both days were full of meaning, and they required a little bit of research and prior planning.
To my family . . . thank you for the wonderful Father’s Days you have planned in years past. I’m very much looking forward to experiencing what you have planned this year.
To other families . . . Father’s Day is less than two weeks away. Hope you’ve formulated your plan.