The Evolution of Father’s Day

The Past

The Evolution of a Dad

The Evolution of a Dad

Prior to this year, I had a Father’s Day routine. Since my dad’s death in 2005, I would spend an entire week (I called Father’s Week) writing stories of my dad on my other, much messier blog. Because I had that kind of time. Well, I did this twice. I would also watch Big Fish and call a couple friends I have who also lost their fathers. My dad was an enigma of sorts to me with a sordid past that he kept distanced from me for good reason. He was a bookie and a back-room poker dealer until the year he died, so who knows what kind of a grifter he was before I was born. This is why Big Fish reminds me so much of him.

But more to the point, I had decided to forgo watching Big Fish this year – or at least I decided to celebrate my father’s life – on his birthday, freeing up Father’s Day for a new routine. I will also move my Father’s Week to his birthweek. However, I will still do my best to reach out to my friends with deceased fathers on this day every year. It seems weird to do that on my dad’s birthday.

The Present
Obviously, Father’s Day has an entirely new meaning for me, and happily so. I love spending time in the past reminiscing about my dad, but I am a father of my own now. And to that point, I get to finally reap the benefits of this new holiday. And when you’re a stay-at-home dad to a baby who can’t appreciate what Father’s Day means yet, that means a day off. But when you’re married to my wife, who graciously spent all of her first Mother’s Day on the road, driving home from seeing my family, you don’t want to push it. I played my football game in the morning and eventually got to see Man of Steel, which Zach Snyder predictably zacked up, but there were errands I ran in between. So I didn’t get to spend my entire day at the movies doing the theater-hopping-on-one ticket thing that I’ve still never done. Still, this Father’s Day, it felt nice to say “I’m going to the movies” and then actually go to the movies.

The Future
One of these years, my daughter will be able to appreciate what Father’s Day means. And when that day comes, I’ll be happy to spend it with my daughter doing whatever it is she thinks will make me feel special (with mommy’s help of course). I don’t want her thinking that I always want to spend this day – which is only a holiday for me because of her existence – in a dark movie theater by myself with 250 strangers. If she wants to take me to the zoo, I’ll let her take me to the zoo. But until then, I look forward to stocking up on Raisinets and hiding in a dark theater for a couple hours, appreciating myself for the hard work I do the other 364 days of the year. Next year, without Zach Snyder.

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