Some people think fathers aren’t as sentimental and soft-hearted as moms, and that Father’s Day doesn’t matter as much to them as Mother’s Day does to moms.
Don’t make that mistake. Dad might not wear his heart on his sleeve, and many men don’t find it easy to show their emotions, but rest assured that, inside, the love a good dad feels for his kids is huge, and he would go through fire and water for them. So be sure he’ll be touched by your loving and appreciative messages on his big day.
Sigmund Freud said: “I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection.” A good dad is worth a fortune, as anyone who has one will know.
Depending on the sort of guy he is, the message you send him can be light-hearted, or even teasing and funny, so long as it conveys your love. Or maybe he’d appreciate something more soulful and serious. You know your dad best. Choose what’s right for him. Just make it sincere.
It can be as simple as:
The greatest gift I ever had
Came from God, and I call him dad.
It can be teasing, like the tongue-in-cheek poem Father by Edgar Albert Guest, which ends:
In conversation father can
Do many wondrous things;
He’s built upon a wiser plan
Than presidents or kings.
He knows the ins and outs of each
And every deep transaction;
We look to him for theories,
But look to ma for action.
He might be the sort of man to laugh at that and still know you love him.
Or your message can be dramatic and profound, like the poet E. E. Cummings’s wonderful ‘My Father Moved Through Dooms of Love.’ It’s too long to quote in full, but here are random bits of it, to give the flavor:
his flesh was flesh his blood was blood:
no hungry man but wished him food;
no cripple wouldn’t creep one mile
uphill to only see him smile.
his sorrow was as true as bread:
no liar looked him in the head;
if every friend became his foe
he’d laugh and build a world with snow.
(and every child was sure that spring
danced when she heard my father sing).
because my father lived his soul
love is the whole and more than all.
Good dads are special people. You have fun with them, they teach you things, they take you places, you relate to them, and they understand you. Phyllis C. Michael summed it up in her poem “My Dad and I:”
My dad and I, we think alike,
He knows just what I mean
Before I even say a word
He reads, well, in between.
My dad and I, we like to fish
Or build a model plane,
Or fix a broken chair or two
Or just a windowpane.
My dad and I, we know the score
Of every single game;
Sometimes he’s really busy, too
But he takes me just the same.
My dad and I go swimming, too,
Each year, and sometimes twice.
My dad and I do everything;
My dad, he’s really nice.
Jennifer S. Williams had a similar view of her dad, expressed in this poem:
When I scratched my knee,
Or if I bumped my head.
When I was afraid of the dark,
Or that thing under my bed,
When I cried in the night,
Or even in the day,
You were there for me,
To make it all okay.
You tickled my feet,
And laughed at all my jokes.
You taught me to believe,
In having high hopes.
You are my father
You did what you had to do.
But more than a father
You are my friend too.
You made everything good,
That was once bad.
I just want you to know
I love you Dad.
Some dads are especially remembered for their love and goodness. Yehuda Amichai wrote of his father:
The memory of my father is wrapped up in
white paper, like sandwiches taken for a day at work.
Just as a magician takes towers and rabbits
out of his hat, he drew love from his small body,
and the rivers of his hands
overflowed with good deeds.
If you are unlucky enough to have lost your dad, you can’t fail to be moved by Dylan Thomas’s awe-inspiring poem; “Do not go gentle into that good night.”It’s probably the most moving poem about the death of a father anyone has ever written. It is full of anguish, powerful and exquisitely beautiful.
If you are lucky and still have your dad, make sure you tell him how much he means to you, while you can. Hopefully he’ll be around for a long time yet, but no dads last forever.