Father's Day Salute

by Liz Soutar
(from Nap Time Notes)

I think fathers need a better press agent. They don't get the attention
they deserve. 

It all starts when the baby's conceived. There are volumes of text covering
the prenatal changes that effect expectant mothers. Dad's are lucky to get
a mention in the footnotes. Yet, they are the ones who bravely face the
brunt of their partner's hormonal fluctuations. When our first daughter was
only a few hours old, memories of the last 41 weeks started to trickle past
the sleepy remnants of my rational mind. I realized my husband had been
living with a crazed woman capable of hyperbolic mood swings often
triggered by nothing more than the sound of his breathing.

The media keeps us informed about "dead beat dads", but equal time is not
given to the fathers who are there for their children. Let's give some much
needed praise to the dads who leave work every evening to pick up the kids
from school, catch their budding sport star's game, or stop at the store on
their way home for milk to go with the family dinner. These chauffeurs,
little league coaches, and delivery men work hard all day and still have
energy for hands-on parenting. 
Perhaps these fathers should be called "Up Beat Dads". 

Let's hear a cheer for patriarchs who give piggy back rides until their
shoulder blades fuse! 

Let's hear a hearty "Hip, Hip, Hurrah!" for Daddys who can recite every Dr.
Suess book from memory! 
Let's give a pat on the back to the fathers who have changed a dirty diaper...
and lived to change another! 

As our nation's flag unfurls slowly behind me, and the orchestra begins to
play a sentimental tune reserved for the father's dance with the bride, I
have one more thought to share this Father's Day. Show the dads in your
life that you appreciate them. Don't hide behind Hallmarks! Tell the man
who loves your children as his very own that he's doing a great job. Tell
the father who gave you his time and attention and protectively watched you
grow up that you appreciate and love him for it. I've got to go and give
the guy, who's watching our little girls while I write this essay, a hug.
After that, I'm calling the man whose admirable example of fatherhood set
the standard from which I chose the father of my children. I'm going to
thank my father for twenty-nine years of unwavering support and for the
confidence which flowered from that security. 
And I'm going to say "I love you, Dad".  	

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