Dads, at least the Dads of my generation, had two jobs – Earn an Income and Make Pancakes on Sunday Night for Mom’s night off.
The first we knew represented his RESPONSIBILITY to his family.
The second we knew represented his LOVE for our mother and for us.
There never seemed anything we could do to repay him. There wasn’t a tie nor trip nor lighter nor ballgame ticket which could ever – EVER – be as valuable as what he gave and sacrificed and provided for our welfare, spirit and education.
And so maybe we stop trying. We give up on the gifts and just purchase a card. Or maybe we continue to maniacally hunt down JUST THE RIGHT THING, in a blind, ambitious desire to give him something that comes close to saying Thank You.
What Dad was doing was not only loving and nurturing his wife and his family. He was passing down years of learned respect and responsibility, he was educating us on what Fatherhood really means, he was mentoring and coaching a future generation to prepare them for the same offering of self that he so willingly provided, in love and in gratitude for all he was given.
And believe me, he doesn’t want a present for that. What he wants is to know that all of that good stuff has been passed on, that it continues and grows and moves beyond his years to others.
So this year, give him what he deeply desires, by supporting a nonprofit “Fatherhood Initiative.”
Fatherhood is not DNA encoded. It is not something every boy is born knowing, and sadly many do not experience in their short lifetime.
But it CAN be learned. And it CAN be shared. And it will live on through the noble work of these organizations and more.
Here are some to get you started. And when you give, give generously as Dad did, from your need, not your excess. And then say Thank You, Dad.