Written by Yuki Hayashi
(3 min read)
One of my family’s most memorable Father’s Days was The Day of the Leeches. That’s the Father’s Day we took our then-6-or-7-year old fishing. A standard-issue Canadian Father’s Day, right? Not really: my husband hates fishing and he only went to be a good sport. I took on hook-baiting duty, while he retreated to enjoy a long-overdue nap under a shady tree. Unfortunately, his peaceful slumber didn’t last for long.
Hearing evil giggles nearby, I turned to find our little angel placing leeches all over his neck and arms. Sigh. That was our first and only Father’s Day fishing trip.
And yet, The Day of the Leeches has become one of our cherished family memories. It also reminds me of one of the things I love most about my husband: his good humour and easygoing personality. The natural camaraderie he shares with our son is something I am grateful for, on Father’s Day and year-round. There’s a partner-in-crime element to their hijinks, with practical jokes and affection that is just…different…from my relationship with our kid.
Here’s to fathers – and father figures
As a child raised by a single mom, I really notice the many advantages of raising a child with a full-time partner. (That said, there are also many advantages to raising a child in a single-parent home.) I also know firsthand that Father’s Day can be a tough time for kids whose biological dad isn’t actively involved in their lives. But that doesn’t mean they have to sit out Father’s Day activities at school, or on the weekend.
Besides dads and stepdads, there are plenty of men who nurture, care for and support the next generation. From uncles, grandfathers and brothers, to neighbours, coaches, teachers, Big Brothers and family friends, these guys populate the proverbial village that it takes to raise a child.
Here are three great ways to celebrate Father’s Day and honour the fathers and father figures in our lives.
Father’s Day idea #1: Say, “Good job, dad!”
Whether it’s ignoring dad’s fifth silly Gif of the day or focusing on the fact that grandpa let Junior have a second serving of ice cream (not his awesome babysitting), we can all be guilty of taking our loved ones for granted.
Use Sunday, June 20, 2021 as your prompt to list everything your father or your kid’s father (or father figure) does to enrich your family life. Ask your child to help, too.
Share the list with the man of the hour in a creative format and say thanks – for everything!
Father’s Day idea #2: Send cards to awesome dads
Not into touchy-feely emotions? That’s okay! A simple card can express appreciation, too.
Grownups may want to send cards to dads they appreciate, like your kid’s BFF’s father:
“You’ve always welcomed Ali into your home and family life. It has meant so much to us.”
Or that annoying brother who is now blowing your mind with his next-level parenting:
“Bro, seeing you as a dad makes me realize how awesome you are…even if I hated sharing the car with you!”
Kids can write short notes, too:
“You’re the world’s #1 Dad!”
“I love you, Grandpa!”
“Thanks for teaching me to shoot, Coach!”
Cards are an easy at-home project, but primary school classrooms often incorporate card and gift-making into their activities. Consider contacting your child’s teacher beforehand to request inclusive language so Father’s Day activities include father figures, too.
Father’s Day idea #3: Celebrate your chosen family
June is prime picnic, patio and BBQ season, so gather the household or a few friends and have a quaint lunch or dinner. Some of us may be estranged from our relatives, others may have parents who have passed away, while still others are separated by geography. Regardless, you probably have friends who form your support network. Like any other family, a chosen family is a community that deserves appreciation and celebration!
Join the conversation: How will you be celebrating Father’s Day on Sunday, June 20th?
Read more: Check out these vegetarian recipes for the grill this Father’s Day weekend.