Father's Day should be a celebration of all men who have made the life choice of being a Dad. This cause for celeb must be rooted in more than the act and can more honestly be described as the choice to be actively engaged with a child.
Fatherhood, very unlike pregnancy , a condition that makes itself very known and defies any attempt to ignore it, can define a life or can virtually be ignored or even unknown. A man may not know he has helped to created another life or may be sure he has and it impacts him infinitely, profoundly and joyfully. For some, it impacts them not at all. Ideally, should that prove the case, you too have a mother that you can celebrate for Father's Day.
The idea for this inventive and very successful approach to the holiday first occurred when experiencing considerable angst in the classroom each year as discussions of the annual Father/Daughter Tea first entered the picture. They became further entrenched as each call for the "father" to make an appearance entered my lifescape. Just to name a few: the Father/Daughter Dance, the Father/Daughter Camping Trip, the Father take your daughter to work day and the dreaded Father/Daughter Wedding Day.
One cannot just presto- chango...pop up with an absent father. However, with a bit of creativity, an innovative mother up for the challenge and the will to make it work...while you cannot appear in these celebrated events with a father when one is not on hand...You can rescue the day. My Mother consistently rescued the day.
Our in school Father/Daughter tea happened right after school. I was dismayed when my Mom picked me with my little brother in tow up early- but not for long. She had taken the rest of the afternoon off and we (my little brother and I) were whisked by bus downtown to Union Square in N.Y. and our family just as it was, enjoyed the very best of dining at Horn and Hardart's. My Mom likely couldn't afford this jaunt but we partied like it was 1999 before boarding the bus back home. I don't know how the Father/Daughter Tea went but we had a glorious adventure. She could not afford this trip. She did it anyway.
The above was only one incident of many. My Mother, like many women all across the world, ran our household doing the very difficult job of being a Mom. She was also the best and only Dad we had. So, in the sure and certain knowledge that my brother and I were not alone in this circumstance, I would like to encourage all with a father in absentia to celebrate the Mother that you do have on Mother's Day and on Father's Day. It's only fair after all, that the person the does the job gains the glory. We had wonderful laughs about this all through our time together my Mother and I. We joked about her Father's Day cards and how I often would share her stories in card stores as I joined all the others buying Father's Day cards for their Dads. Everyone thought she was awesome. Mom, you were awesome and there is not a day that I don't miss you. Happy Father's Day Mom. You were the best Dad a girl ever had!
Patti and Gary Wiles, Innkeepers