Friday, June 17, 2011

Happy Father's Day

This Sunday is the day we all take a little time to celebrate and honor the fathers that enrich our lives.  While Mother's Day became an official US holiday in 1914, Father's Day wasn't annually observed until 1972, when Richard Nixon signed it into law.  (I think that this speaks volumes.)

In my house, the rules for Father's and Mother's Day are very different.

Mother’s Day
Father’s Day
Time with children
This is a day for Mom to get a much overdue break and Dad takes the children to the zoo and to lunch.
This is a day for Dad to spend some quality time with his children at a park.  Mom may accompany.
Dad organizes a nice family meal and does all the clean-up without complaint.
Dad barbeque's. Mom may make salads and may clean-up while Dad bathes the children.
Cards and flowers
Homemade cards
Truly, I question the need for separate holidays at all.   Given that we live in a very diverse San Francisco neighborhood, where at the house on our right lives a wonderful family of twin girls and two moms, and the house on our left is rented to a group of Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, the traditional one mom/one dad family is not necessarily the norm. (The Sisters are  an awesome charity group.  If you are unfamiliar with them, check it out here:

I think that we should merge these two primitive holidays into one- "Caregiver's Day", more specifically, "Primary Caregiver's Day". This day would honor and celebrate the parent who does most of the child rearing.  In the (unlikely) situation that the duties are shared equally between two parents, the day can be divided- morning for one, and afternoon for the other. 

Now, I can already hear numerous complaints from "secondary" caregivers who feel that they deserve recognition for their hard work plowing the fields and sewing the crops.  Personally I believe that each time they sit down to a child-free lunch, or drive twenty minutes without having to referee two children in the backseat, is reward enough.  Feel free to argue, I'm sure you will.

Father's Day Gift Ideas:
However, most likely you, like my family, are taking part in this annual tradition.  Many of you may be needing to buy a last minute gift for your husband or father and are simply at a lost as to what to gift. 

Finding the right present for a man is extremely difficult.  In my case, my husband buys himself what little he wants/needs and isn't a fan of flowers, chocolates, nor man jewelry.  He doesn't play golf, which rules out about half of the gifts/cards marketed to fathers.  And he doesn't fish, another 25% gone.  I often end up buying him something he either a) never wears, or b) never uses.  In our 8-year-marriage I have managed to present him with a few gifts that did not end up in a box, in the back of the closet, in the guest room.  Here they are, in no particular order:
  1. Angry Bird's T-shirt.
  2. Cuff Links made from the original Wrigley Field bleachers.
  3. Framed pictures of the girl, taken by someone other than me with a device other than an iPhone.
  4. Pork products
  5. His two beautiful, healthy children.   
This year I may give him a homemade statues of Elana and Maisy crafted from sausage links and bacon.  Yum...

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