The Most Sepcial Day of the Year

Oh, boy, it’s almost Father’s Day. It’s the most important and special holiday of the year… NOT! A recent article by Geoff Williams in Parenting suggests that “Father's Day is an afterthought, a holiday just a few steps above the one that celebrates the groundhog and that other one that promotes trees.” He compares the gift he gave his wife for Mother’s Day (the ornamental weeping cherry tree she always wanted planted in the yard beside a fancy new bird bath) with the gift she got him (some boxer shorts and a tiny reading lamp so he can read in bed without disturbing her). There does seem to be some inequity there, doesn’t it? This reminded me of a routine Bill Cosby did years ago—

On Mother’s Day you break your back working to buy some presents… On Father’s Day you say, “Dad give me some money, I want to buy you a pack of cigarettes.” Then you smoke half the pack coming home… and it’s not even his brand.

Why the difference? Cosby suggested that it is because mothers are so much easier to give gifts to. You can paint a old rock and give it to Mom and she’ll say, “Isn't that so precious; that’s the sweetest thing…” Dad will say, “Get that old rock out of the house!” He may be onto something. Mom is still easier to buy for, largely because Lynn buys her gifts!

But I have an idea the difference in importance between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day has more to do with the importance in the closeness of the relationships. Many fathers remain emotionally distant from their children; many father are just plain distant… as in not there at all. So maybe Mother’s Day is more important because mothers are more important.

Well I never borrowed money from Dad to buy him a pack of cigarettes for Father’s Day. That’s because he gave up smoking when his kids were born because he didn’t think it would be good for them to be around the smoke (that was way, way before anyone knew anything about secondhand smoke). That was only the first of a jillion sacrifices that Dad made and still makes to make sure that my sister and I have had what we needed (and usually what we wanted). If all Dads were more like my Dad, Father’s Day would be a much bigger deal as a holiday!