Friday, June 14, 2013

Father's Day

I find it very amusing that my 3 year old son does not yet understand the concept of names, classifications and sub classifications. For example; I cannot be Daddy AND a boy AND a husband AND a son AND a brother AND a person AND Mike. I'm Daddy to my son, and for him, I'm thats an accurate description of what I am. To him, names are just descriptions of what things are. Another example of this would be him not understanding why Big Bird is named Big Bird. Yes, he is a big bird; but to my son, the name is only a description of what he is anyway. Puppy is the name of every dog he meets and Birdy is the name of every bird he sees and he will fight me (physically - I'm working on that) if I suggest that its a collie or a blue jay. This is appropriate of nothing, however, it does remind me of how often we can classify someone as 1 thing: 
  • A teacher has no life, they live at the school.
  • My mom enjoys making my bed and making my lunch because thats the job of a mom.
  • My dad loves to work because thats what he does.
  • An athlete doesn't do anything else, they do that sport and then disappear until I see them again to do that sport.
  • A coach coaches all the time because they love it.
I think it is important (especially since Father's Day is this weekend) to be aware of how we classify and be considerate of the fact that Dad works - not because thats what dads do - but because dad needs to take care of you and your family. That coaches work usually because they love what they do - but often they also need to take care of their families. Coaches often miss things happening in their own families because they are spending time with other people's children. I personally have missed my son's first birthday and my daughter's first swim meet because I have been working with other people's children and I have worked every single Fathers Day since I have been a Father.

Please do not misunderstand my reasons for mentioning this - I am not fishing for sympathy, love or compliments - but I do want to call attention to how we can simplify someone's importance. My father was never very active in my swimming career, but I know that he worked very hard so that I could afford to take it as far as I did. Although I did not really understand this until I was an adult, roles are only really 1 dimension of who and what people are. This fathers day, please take the time to appreciate not only the role that your father plays, but the sacrifices he makes to play that role. Take into account how much time someone else's father puts into their jobs so that you can be safe (Police, Fire Ambulance, Doctor, Nurse) get where you need to go (Cab, Bus, Train drivers) or compete (Officials, Coaches, Lifeguards, Sanitation Workers). All of these people are likely working, away from their families, on the day that is dedicated to them (and their fathers).

Happy Fathers Day to all Fathers!