Sunday, June 19, 2022

Father's Day - Art & Story by Sandra Russell

Father's Day - Original Art & Story (c) Sandra Russell

Father's Day

Art & Story by Sandra Russell

Many dads are lauded on this day with celebrations, gifts, cards and hugs. Many dads are not recognized. For some there is no hug, card, phone call, or note of any affection. Sometimes this is a cultural oversite because we expect so much from the father. His primary role as provider used to be "bread winner." He was the one who worked outside the home and brought in the money to pay for everything - food, clothing shelter, education, vacation trips and every other repair, around the house and car. He was to be fearless, handsome, but a gentleman to your teachers, a role model of perfect masculinity.


The mother was to deal with everything emotional and nurturing - feed, clothe, bathe the kids, keep the house clean, teach everyone manners, manage the pets, and schoolwork and budget the money the father provided. Of course there was always more work than has been described here on both sides. But while mom tends to get the emotionally loaded momentos on Mother’s Day - flowers, perfume, sentimental cards, maybe a brooch or some other beauty item, a salon visit, dad gets a nod? A pair of socks? A set of screw drivers?


I am suggesting before it's too late, to put any family bitternesses aside, and remember that your dad is a full human being and has emotional needs too. He wants to love you as much as you want his recognition of your individuality.


If you are the dad reading this, do something with your kids that doesn't involve you as simply a cash cow. Find an interest that you have to share with them, find an interest they have and try to learn about it. I think it's true in any relationship that if you share a new experience with another person, that sharing creates a bond, a memory, a sentiment. So build your bank of these things and make your family fuller by it.


I have a friend who was adopted at birth; she knew nothing of either of her birth parents, but after she was forty, she discovered DNA. She had a drive to find a sibling, and she did. Later she worked with a DNA detective and her own sources to find many dozens of cousins, some other half brothers and sisters, and her birth father who didn't even know she was born. He knew nothing about her. They communicated and agreed to meet in person. She drove from Ohio to Pennsylvania and now they visit and laugh and share what they do have to celebrate. She had to put all those years of childhood fantasy about who her real parents might be, and her own disappointments with where she was with her own life and career, and just accept and love it as it was, warts and all. And you know what? They are all grateful, they are all happy about it.


So, what about caves and parks, take a walk or hike? How about a game of horseshoes or a trip to the archery range? What about attending a play, concert, car show, museum event, sporting event? Your call. It's your family. Happy Father's Day.


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