Fatherhood | Editorial

Father’s Day has been celebrated across the United States now for over a hundred years. It started in Spokane Washington by Sonora Smart Dodd. Her father was a Civil War veteran and single father of six children. Since that first tribute to dads, the role of fatherhood has changed and evolved but most of us still have a male figure who has impacted our lives called dad.

I am fairly certain my dad is where I get my quirky, goofy side. He also taught me practical things; don’t forget to check the oil in your car, balance your checkbook – back when that was a thing – and how to correctly fold a pocket knife without injury, which he learned from his father.

Like any dad, he has been there for me and my sister through good times and bad, sometimes with a hug, sometimes with just the right kernel of advice. He reminds us that if someone treats you poorly, they probably treat everyone poorly therefore, try not to take it personally. That message comes in handy and makes it easier to let things roll off one’s back, to move on from hurt feelings.

He has guided me to be resourceful, resilient and responsible. These have been tricky to master because each of these at their core requires self-confidence. One must have confidence they can be resourceful and figure things out. One must have confidence that when things are falling apart, one will be resilient enough to come out the other end, and the confidence that one can shoulder responsibility without a project falling apart, without letting others down.

He takes responsibility seriously. As the oldest of four brothers, it was his duty to help more. In his twenties, after my sister was born and he was adjusting to life as a new dad, his father was hospitalized. Suddenly, he found himself taking care of an infant and his teenage brother to help his parents. He did it, of course, and unquestioningly, because that is who he is.

Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers, and I’ll leave you with a few Dad Jokes:

Why did the orchestra get struck by lightning? It had a conductor.

Why did the pony ask for a glass of water? Because it was a little horse.

What did the lunch box say to the refrigerator? Don’t hate me because I’m a little cooler.