Let’s hear it for the men of the home

June is always a busy month. School is out for the summer and great plans are being made to cram as much as absolutely possible into the few weeks between one grade and the next. Family vacations loom large and visits to grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins are on the horizon. For the many blended families that are living in America now, scheduling the time for mom or dad, according to court orders, has to be taken into prime consideration.

We want to go to the beach and play in the sun, sand and surf. Some prefer going to the mountains to visit and play in forests, camps, and in the many rivers and streams. Families plan hunting or fishing trips and explorations to museums, cities, movies, plays, and craft oriented camps. Many children with musical interests will enjoy a week or two at a band camp, or cheerleading, or sports, or any other of dozens of organized play and learning time.

So, dad gets the shaft and comes up short on his special day. Mother’s Day always seems to garner more attention, perhaps better gifts, and certainly more one-on-one time than the male day that should get equal consideration. I was surprised to learn by way of a recent television show the other night that more collect calls are made on Father’s Day than any other holiday celebrated in the United States. I asked Ted if he knew that prior to the commentator sharing it and he did not. “Have any of your kids ever called you collect to say Happy Father’s Day?” I asked. My husband and I have only been married a little over four years so I would not have know about his prior Father’s Day history beyond that time. He said, “I don’t think so, but if they did, it would be fine with me.” Well, I don’t think it would be fine unless there were extenuating circumstances that made it necessary. Father’s Day should be as well planned and executed as Mother’s Day.

Who misses the boat? Is it the mom in the household, or do the children just not care as much as they once did? Or is it because of the many different home situations we encounter now in every neighborhood? Makes no difference to me what the reason is — we should rectify the situation immediately — beginning with this Father’s Day, June 19, 2011. Think about it now and plan to honor your father, if he is still living. If he is not alive any longer, think of another man that has had a great influence in your life. Choose wisely and think of someone who has contributed to your overall wellbeing, someone who gave to you, helped to get you started on the right path, and to whom you need to say a genuine “thank you” for his investment in your life.

Father’s Day in the United States has been set aside as the third Sunday in June every year, so it’s not that hard to remember. Credit for originating and helping to establish the holiday is generally given to Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Wash., whose father, a Civil War veteran, reared her and her five siblings after their mother died in childbirth. She is said to have had the idea while listening to a sermon in 1909 on Mother’s Day. She presented her idea to local religious leaders and they supported the idea. The first recorded Father’s Day was celebrated on June 19, 1910, the birthday month of Dodd’s father. In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge gave his support to the observance, and in 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson officially proclaimed it as a national holiday.

Observance on the third Sunday of June was decreed by law in 1972, so as holidays go, Father’s Day is not very old.

One interesting tradition spread from Mother’s Day to Father’s Day. Many observe this tradition by wearing a red rose, if their father is still alive, and a white one to indicate that he is deceased. Gift and card designers encourage people to recognize and honor all of the males who have had a profound influence in their lives or to whom they need to express thanks. I would urge everyone to remember the step-dads, husbands of mothers who also help to parent, uncles, and even teachers. I would rather overdo than not do enough to honor the important males in our lives.

I learned this year that some Roman Catholics continue to observe the feast day of Saint Joseph on March 19, as a portion of their tribute to fathers.

Both my biological father, Robert Henry Cannon, and my step dad, John (Jay) Davis are in Heaven now, and just last week, I buried my uncle, Donald Baughcum, who provided much of my early training in my life, along with my uncle, Floyd Lee, who died several years ago. My personal and profound thanks and appreciation to these good men. God bless your memory.

Whatever we decide to do to honor the males in our life this year, let’s agree to do it with our entire being and get excited about this important day. Let’s not allow this Father’s Day to pass with a normal, boring acceptance of these special people God has used to place in our lives to help us become what He wants us to be.

Let’s choose one or two people perhaps in our churches, businesses, or neighborhoods who might not be getting a Father’s Day visit, call or gift, and do some little thing to say hello and thank you to them as well. I have two men in mind I plan to honor by some small gesture, and I’m excited about doing it and think they will be excited to be remembered. Don’t forget pastors, staff members, medical personnel, and perhaps even your boss.

Deep down inside their hearts, men enjoy the attention as much, if not more, than most women.

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