Father’s Day – The Quiet Holiday
By Steve Hahn, Father of 2
I’m not sure why, but it seems to me that Father’s Day has the tendency to quietly sneak up on us and then suddenly appear as a pleasant surprise. Not like a “jump-scare” as my 13 year old daughter might say when something causes you to leap up out of your seat in terror. No, more kind of like an unexpected cup of coffee in the morning when you thought you were out of K-Cups but you weren’t. I like Italian Roast the best myself.
But don’t let the subtleness of Father’s Day convince you that dads don’t like the attention. Because I promise you, we do. We like the Father’s Day tie. We like the Father’s Day card. We like the Father’s Day power-drill. Razor and shaver-kits, yep, we like those too. Did someone say, “Would you like to grill a Father’s Day steak?” Well, yes, yes I would. Most of all, we love spending time together – it is precious to us. Why? Because we see and feel them growing-up, and this is a time sensitive issue after all.
Fathers are more relational than what society likes to give us credit for. But we’re kind of quiet about that too. We don’t like to travel in large groups, maybe two or three at the most (but three’s pushing it), because we like to focus attention on our kids and the task at hand. If a dad agrees to take his son or daughter to a birthday party at some wild pizza joint, he’s got a set time-limit of what he can handle and remain sane. Odds are he avoids that scenario altogether – maybe he has some yardwork to finish-up or a drain to unclog instead. Honestly, it has everything to do with the kid to adult ratio and the lack of structure involved that he finds unsettling.
I mean think about the popularity of Father/Daughter Dances – it’s a 1:1 ratio. Those odds are pretty good aren’t they? That’s why it works. I only have to worry about my kid and our experience together in that situation. Plus, it becomes a tradition that fathers look forward to. Now, fathers will get involved in large youth activities too, but it has to make sense and has to be mostly free from chaos, literally. We don’t like chaos. For instance, you give a dad a youth team to coach with a decent number of kids on the roster, another adult to help-out, and structured activity with a goal in mind, then you have a simple recipe for increased father involvement. He loves that stuff. He will rearrange his whole schedule to be with his kid and that team.
Father’s Day naturally reminds us of our own fathers too. Each year I grow to value my own father more. I become more keenly aware of his worth in my life and in the life of my own family. I know I am fortunate to have my dad alive and healthy living only a couple miles away. If I need his help or just want to spend some time together, it happens. He likes Italian Roast coffee too, and I know that this is a time sensitive issue. . .