RAMifications: Thanks to the dads who make a difference

Posted June 13, 2013 at 11:29 am

Father’s Day is coming up again. It’s nice to set aside a day to honor good ol’ Pop, and when you think about it, most dads deserve much more than a card and maybe a picnic supper.

Regarding greeting cards, the most popular seasonal cards are Christmas cards (1.6 billion), followed by Valentine’s Day (145 million, not including classroom valentines), Mother’s Day (133 million) and Father’s Day (90 million). How come cards bought for Dad are 43 million fewer than for Mom?

I suppose there are numerous reasons, among them the idea that a guy isn’t all that sentimental about cards, or so we might think.

But I also know there is a lot of truth to the saying, “Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad.”

I think in recent years, a steadily increasing number of men has become more “hands on” with their children, and are involved with what their kids are doing, whatever the age.

I also see, with so many blended families, that the father figure isn’t necessarily the biological father. It’s the person who takes the time to be “Dad,” whatever the actual relationship. It’s the man who has chosen to take on other children as his own.

My oldest son legally adopted his wife’s son this winter, but Zane latched on to the man he calls Dad from the very beginning. It’s nice to see them together.

When I think of my own father, long gone, I remember him as stern and not very approachable. I imagine his background had something to do with it, growing up in a strict German household.

By the next generation, I remember witnessing more interaction between dads and their children, though the mother still had most of the responsibility of the day-to-day care. Dad brought home the paycheck, but Mom pretty much reared the children.

Nowadays, lines are not so defined, which I think is a good thing. There is more sharing of responsibilities.

My daughter-in-law recently went with some family and friends to a time-share in Mexico for several days. Zane stayed home with “Dad,” who got him to ball practice, cooked him supper, made sure he had clean clothes to wear.

“Mom,” however, also can hammer, paint, help lay carpet and do other “guy things” when taking care of some of their rental properties.

Father’s Day is time to give a salute to all the “Dads” who give the right meaning to the word. They come in all shapes and sizes; their interests may vary, and jobs might be diverse. But they are the male figure that makes the difference to the sons and daughters in their lives. To them, with respect, “Happy Father’s Day.”

Thanks to the dads who make a difference