There are many ways a father helps shape the life of a child. From those first moments when a baby hears a reassuring voice comfort their cries, the bond forms between a father and child. Every day that follows will be filled with helpings of joy and anticipation, discovery and surprise. This Sunday brings another Father’s Day, which is a good chance to spend time with the Dads you know—and reflect on what they mean to their families.
It is understandable to want to cram as many activities as possible into this special day. Perhaps you might go to a baseball game together. There may be a live performance you can get tickets for. If a livelier day is what Dad is interested in, pick an activity such as a comfortable hike or a project that can be done quickly with two sets of hands. There is no single “perfect” way to celebrate Father’s Day other than time spent strengthening personal bonds.
Some fathers may want to sleep in or just want to grab a bite of their favorite food. There is another type of nourishment to be had—by telling stories. Father’s Day is a great opportunity to discuss not only the past you share, but what it was like for a Dad when they were growing up.
Ask questions about their hometown, who their favorite teachers were, and what it was like for them to learn how to ride a bike. If there is a talent or skill a Dad is known for, find out where they developed it. Who were their first role models? Go beyond asking for names; ask why that person left such a lasting impression. Then spend some time searching for or looking over photos of Dad from their youngest days on up. If you have not already, scan those photos so they can be kept and shared for years to come.
Not everyone has their father is still with them, so this could be a time to speak with friends and family who remember them well. Ask what they recall about Dad most, even the most embarrassing tales. It is important to laugh about the past and see them as real people.
Be sure to make recordings of these stories. If you use a digital recorder, you can archive these tales along with the digital photos.
Regardless of the plans you make, be sure to make it as easy as possible for Dads to enjoy it with you, because the smiles you share throughout Father’s Day will be the gift he recalls the most.
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