I started today to write about my distaste for our national celebration of the “father’s day” faux-holiday.  I got about 100 words in, and it all started to feel very familiar, in the way things do when writers come back to old themes and wind up offering no new perspectives.  Ooops.  In this case, there’s good reason: I wrote about the mother’s day and father’s day holidays back in 2007:

I’ll admit it: I’ve hated Mother’s Day for as long as I can remember. And Father’s Day too.

According to the Wikipedia entry for Mother’s Day, the holiday “was copied from England by social activist Julia Ward Howe after the American Civil War with a call to unite women against war.” Of course, the entry then goes on to say that “According to the National Restaurant Association, Mother’s Day is now the most popular day of the year to dine out at a restaurant in the United States.

That might be my problem right there.

You can read the rest of this here: Mother’s Day.

Last week, I had a conversation with a very nice gentleman, a grandfather who seems to love his kids and grand-kids greatly.  He tried to rebut my anti-sentimental attitude by telling me about how great it is for him: his kids and grand-kids all come out to visit him (and his wife) for father’s day.  He then followed this up by telling me about his own childhood, when he was hauled (by his father) to three different homes, to see three different combinations of grandparents, to celebrate father’s day — while his own father, he later realized, acted more like a chauffeur.  To my mind, this just proved my point.

Back in May of 2007, people were telling me (then an impending father) that I might feel differently about all this, once I had my own children.  That hasn’t happened.  I love my two children, deeply.  I have tremendous love, admiration, and respect for my own father; that hasn’t changed, either.  And I still want to be loved and respected – and to love and respect my own father – in ways that go much deeper than the glancing, surface-level recognition that comes with holidays like this one.


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