Father's Day - Cuz Every Little Thing Is Gonna Be Alright
"He didn't have to wake up, he'd been up all night. Lyin there in bed listenin to his new born baby cry...
It won't be like this for long. One day we'll look back laughin at the week we brought her home..."
The month of June…another one of my most favorite months. Not only does it mean the end of school for children everywhere but it’s also the kickoff to the summer season, longer days, a more relaxed version of ourselves begins to take over. But the month of June also opens up her arms to one of my most favorite holidays - Father’s Day! And, man - I really really love that day!
What is a father?
What’s a dad? Really. What is he? He’s a fixer upper, a go getter, a swinger of clubs and a purveyor of bbq. He’s a smooth talker, a joke teller, a no-I-don’t-like-your-boyfriend type of guy that you want in your corner and never want to cross. He’s a good time Charlie, a life of the party and when you need a hug - that’s your guy! Our Pops are chastisers, I told you so-ers, disciplinarians and champions of our causes. It’s like having our own personal superhero tucked away and when you need him - presto! Here he comes to save the day! Daddy-O is a pretty nifty guy in my book!
Role of a Dad - Wide Angle Lens
Let’s face it - our dads wear a lot of different hats. Lots of them. Depending on your family, maybe his profession and a myriad of other things, Dad changes those hats on a day to day, sometimes minute to minute basis and that’s part of what makes them so great. This is on a pretty broad scale and I’ll narrow it down later. But to get started, I’ve highlighted a few of my favorite hats.
This is perhaps the role I correlate the most with dads and maybe that’s because, in my opinion, part of what makes a daddy so great is that he makes you feel safe. When the big bad wolf comes knocking on your door who answers but your dad. So many fathers, countless dads take on the role of protecting their families, their children, all that they have with no thought to anything else. Their job is to serve and protect those that are closest to their hearts and lord help the person that threatens that. That is not a bear I would poke - sharp stick or not.
Although this isn’t Leave it to Beaver and we certainly are NO Cleaver family, my children’s father is absolutely the provider in our family. Don’t get me wrong - I love that women’s roles in life have changed and evolved and equality in and out of the workforce is more commonplace now than it ever has been. But I can say that in many households across the world that the dad is the main provider for the family. One of his many roles is to provide the dough so momma can make the bread for sammiches. (insert laughing emoji)
One of the biggest kept secrets when it comes to owning ANYTHING is that along with that ownership of said thing, said thing breaks. Often at the least convenient time. And, if you’re lucky, good ole dad dusts off that handyman snapback of his, pulls out his toolbox and gets to work! You may have a self taught handyman of a father or maybe your handyman is really NOT handy and relies heavily on duct tape, a few beers and an old MacGyver episode. And, let’s face it, there are those handyman dads out there that are handiest at making a phone call and opening up their wallet. And that’s totes okay! Our pops like to get the job done and whether it’s doing it themselves or making the call, they are your go to guy!
Many of our dads are the keeper of our secrets. The guy we go to when we’re too scared to go to Mom. Not that that’s an issue in my house…right? Goslings? Bueller? Dad’s your guy that when you have a secret that you need to get out, a challenge gone wrong that if you don’t get it off your chest you’re going to burst, a what the heck is going on moment in your life. Daddy listens, advises then locks it away in the vault. And trust me when I tell you - Daddy makes Fort Knox look like a cereal box. No one breaks into that vault.
This role of Daddy-O’s, sometimes it is GREAT and sometimes, man sometimes it can be a real pain in the backside. And I am well versed in this role, this perspiration soaked hat that a dad wears. Fathers everywhere coach their kids. Whether it’s on their field or in their arena or from the sidelines, dads across the world are experts at telling their kids what to do and how to do it. Because back when he was a kid - like dinosaur times - that’s how it was done. And dad never even played that particular sport that he is willingly giving his expert advice on. But there is that side of dad, those dads out there that are leaders of men and leaders of women, those coaches - they inspire our children to be GREAT.
I know several annoying dads, like my brother, that spiral right into this category. And, yes, they are pretty funny. Unless the joke is on me. That is NOT funny. These are the dads that live for ‘holidays’ such as April Fools Day and Wednesday. Any occasion out there where they can pull out the whoopee cushion, toilet paper you in bed, rubber band the sprayer at the sink or any number of other funny (not funny) pranks. Our dads, yeah, at times they can be real funny but note to you fathers out there - do not make mom the butt of your jokes. It won’t end well.
The Mom, the Dad, the Whole Kitchen Sink
And there are dads out there that wear so many hats that they could open up a hat shop. For those that are a single dad, my hat is off to you. Your role is so vital and important and so overwhelmingly hard. And for the moms out there that are single mothers and play the role of daddy as well - bravo. Single parenting, being the whole ball of wax and then some, leaves you no time for yourself. Not an easy role and certainly one that many families have no option but to embrace.
And don’t forget those ‘surrogate’ dads. The grandfathers that have stepped up to play the role of male influence, the coach that turned a young person’s life around, the uncle that is there for every single occasion, the close friend that has taken another's child under their wing. Yeah, them pops are pretty special themselves and wear a pretty important hat!
Roles of a Dad - Telephoto Lens
So all kinds of different types of dads, right? But at the end of the day, whom a dad is comes down to whom his children are…daughters and sons. And their individual relationship with their sons is different than that relationship with their daughters. And that role that he plays to his children can be one of the most fundamental and profound influences in their life and it plays a significant role in shaping them into the adults and contributors that they become.
Fathers and Daughters
The role of a father to his daughter…given that I am a daughter, I know a lot about this. A daddy is often a little girl’s hero. A slayer of dragons. The open arms at the end of the day that tell you “Don’t worry bout a thing. Cuz every little thing is gonna be alright.” He is the man that all influential male role models in her life will be measured against. And the way he loves and cherishes those close to his heart, well that is the way that she too will expect to be loved and cherished as she goes out on her own. His heart should be soft, his love and his devotion to her never-ending and those that dare to hurt his little girl…again - bear, stick, no way!
Fathers and Sons
This is a completely different role but equally as important and significant. See, those fathers of sons, you are showing your son what it is to be a man. Your integrity becomes his measure of integrity. How you treat others is the rule book in how he learns to treat others. There is perhaps no greater heartache for a son than that feeling of failing his dad. But here’s the secret - there is no failing a father. Because fathers of sons know that failure is necessary and that’s when they come in, pull their son close and say “Don’t worry bout a thing. Cuz every little thing is gonna be alright.” Strength. Wisdom. Character. All gifts a father gives to his son.
How can we honor our dads?
I’ve got some great ideas for ways that you can honor dad this Father’s Day. Real ways to show him that you think he’s great. Take notes!
1. Create a book for him.
Hear me out on this as I have actually done this activity. Sites like Shutterfly let you go on, upload your pictures, write a story - all for your dad. It can be as many or as few pages as you like and is a great idea for a dad with children of any age. Especially a great gift idea for those dads that maybe travel all the time or that aren’t home as much as they like to be it provides them with a way to carry their story, what they are working so hard for - with them on the go. All it takes is a few bucks, a couple hours of time and some creativity. Dad will love it, I promise.
2. Make him a video.
Make him a video. Again, this is another one I’ve done although not for several years. iMovie and other software will let you upload your pictures, download music, add effects and help you to create a video or a movie that is just for dad. You can focus on the past year, you can go back as far as you’d like. It costs you nothing but your time and the video can even be uploaded to You Tube. Gives dad a great place to go and look back on his life and appreciate his children. And it shows dad your appreciation for him.
3. Do what he likes to do.
Fishing? Let’s go get some, dad! Golfing? I’m all in! Game of Thrones marathon? Whoop! Yasssssss! Whatever it is that your dad likes to do, set aside some time out of your busy schedule and make the day about him and his passions. Doesn’t matter if you find it boring - he doesn’t. And trust me when I tell you that he has spent hours, HOURS, doing boring school projects, explaining the same math problem for the umpteenth time, sat in cold rinks, smelly gyms, rainy football fields - for you. I don’t think it’s much to ask for you to do something that he likes to do for an afternoon.
4. Do what he doesn’t want to do.
Every father out there has something on his to do list that mom has been nagging him to do (cough, cough, power wash the house, cough, cough). This Fathers Day, do something that he doesn’t want to do. Clean out the garage, clean out his car, sweep the driveway, mow the grass, just give dad a break and take care of it for him. And don’t look to get paid, don’t look for recognition, just do it. He will appreciate it, trust me and most certainly mom will. Happy dad no one sad!
5. Make a bucket list with him.
I actually love this idea. Sit down with dad and brainstorm a bucket list of things you want to do together. Can be something as minor as go out to breakfast at a new diner every month or something bigger. But putting things on paper brings life and meaning to the words and aids in helping to keep you accountable. And it will give you the hope of future good times to come, new horizons to expand with your pops. Good stuff right there.
Father’s Day in my world
I really do love Father’s Day. I think being a dad is so important and I look at the way in which my children have been shaped by their father and how much he has impacted their lives. And it’s humbling. And I am grateful.
I have a little bit of a new situation happening at chez Schumaker this Father’s Day. My brother and his family will be here and that’s a gift. I have never spent a Father’s Day with my brother as a dad and I simply can’t wait! My mom and my dad will be here as well and that is also a gift because I haven’t spent a Father’s Day with my dad in probably 15 years. Again, so grateful.
And my dad and his wife will be here as well. Yes, I have two dads. The man I call ‘Dad’ has been a part of my life since grade school and well, he’s my dad. And I love him dearly. And my dad, my birth father, well we reconnected when my nephew passed away a year ago. And that has been a journey. And humbling. And, yes, he is loved too. And he is flying out to be with all of us to celebrate Lexi’s graduation and then we will celebrate all of those dads in my life. And my heart is full. And that’s A LOT of dads. And A LOT of family. So my fridge is well stocked too.
Rob and Lexi - they are like two peas in a pod. I think that our daughter speaks some foreign language with her daddy. They share a passion for hockey, old cars and long drawn out (cough cough BORING cough cough) HBO series. He is absolutely the most important man in her life and letting her go off to college this fall is going to be harder than either of them realize.
And my sons - oh do they love their dad. The sun rises and sets on Rob in CJ’s eyes and Rob’s approval is paramount to all else for his oldest son and all he wants to do is measure up. What CJ has yet to realize is that it is CJ himself, his determination and grit, his RESILIENCY, that has humbled his father, has made Rob strive to be a better man, one that his son will always be proud of.
And our Jax, he is the joy, the silly, the softer side of Rob, the one that has forced him to stop and smell the roses and be grateful for each day. Having him home with us these next four years is going to be a gift and if there is going to be another police officer in the house, it will be our Jackson. Like Father. Like Son.
I have friends and family that are without fathers this Father’s Day, that are without a son or a daughter to hold in their arms and whisper “Don’t worry bout a thing…” And my heart breaks for those that are without. And I pray that there is a part of the day that brings some comfort, some peace, some love.
Don’t let Father’s Day be just a Hallmark holiday. Honor the dads in your life this upcoming Father’s Day weekend and make the commitment to let dad know how much he means to you. Take a minute daily to tell him you love him. Let that handshake fall into a hug. Listen to his stories, put down the phone and give him your attention. We are whom we are because of the lessons - good and bad - that we have learned from our dads. To all the dads in my life and to all the dads out there - I wish you a happy Father’s Day!
"Now I'm a giant. Got a son of my own. He's always tryin to go everywhere I go.
Do the best I can to raise him up the right way. Hoping that some day he wants to be
Like his old man."