Like many, Father’s Day and its associated meaning has changed for me over the years. As we progress through our lives, we take on different roles.
When I was younger, Father’s Day was a time for giving my dad ties, dress shirts or belts and reminding him that we appreciated everything he was doing to provide for our family. He worked hard, every day, and we did what we could to show our appreciation.
Then, one day in 2002, Father’s Day took on a whole new meaning for me when I became a father myself. Suddenly, my dad was “Grandpa” and I was now the pending recipient of the obligatory gifts on my special day. But it wasn’t just about the gifts for me, obviously. It was more than the changing of the guard as well. It was a right of passage, of sorts. I went from being the son to being the father. I went from celebrating to being celebrated, all in a matter of moments.
Father’s Day means a lot to me, especially now that I’ve since divorced and I don’t get to spend every day with my son. I try not to take the time we spend for granted and any such celebration means just a little bit more to me than it would have otherwise.
In a round-about sort of way, it also makes me appreciate all that my dad did for us as well. Having been a dad now for nearly ten years, I know how difficult it can be at times, how rewarding it can be and how much parents really bear the brunt of life so that their kids can just be kids.
What does Father’s Day mean to you, either as a parent or as a child? Has your father been present in your life and been the father figure you’ve needed? What would you do differently? What would you do the same? If you’re a father, what does the day mean to you? Do you take time to reflect on being a father? Do you feel appreciated? What would you do differently or the same?