Father’s Day 2018

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The weather forecast for this weekend has a little tie above the projected temp to indicate that June 17th is Father’s Day. I wonder if I am the only viewer in Minnesota who bristled at the image. Growing up, my dad was in the military and the first thing he did upon entering the house was lose the necktie. I feel like Kare 11 News just said, “Happy Father’s Day! Have a tie, the symbol of your oppressive work environment!”

What do we get our dads for Father’s Day this year? How do we say thank you to the wonderful fathers out there in 2018?

Daddy turned 80 in December. He’s survived a stroke and a hip replacement in the past few years. This summer, he is taking my son, my nephews, and my brother on a whirlwind trip of the battlefields where his great grandfather trained before fighting in the Civil War. Following the steps of his ancestor’s entry into the military, taking along his male heirs. It is the ultimate dude trip, and all of them are excited about it.

In many ways I feel blessed to still have my dad, and I want to buy him a yacht or an island, some massive object that will anchor him to this world for as long as possible. In the last three years, Dad’s lost his brother and two brother-in-laws. My family of good men has been thinned out recently, and their absence is felt acutely on Father’s Day.

I am a teacher, in part because my dad is a natural teacher. He loved to make bread, sausages, and stews. The aroma of onions sizzling in butter will always make me think of my father. While he was cooking, Dad was also narrating, to us and to himself, tips and pointers that he’d learned watching his mom cook. “The trick to poaching eggs is that you add a splash of vinegar to the water to keep the yoke from thinning.” His corned beef hash is a work of art that try as I may, cannot be replicated.

In the news this week, another celebrity was identified in a lawsuit, and it is difficult to keep up with all the mentions of sexual predators who used to be beloved father figures. From Hollywood to the White House, bad behavior by men is on display everywhere you look. How do we honor our very good men in a year of persistent toxic masculinity? Seems vital that we shine a light on those wonderful men who radiate love, like my old man and my husband.

Having a good dad, a kind man who came home in his dress whites and immediately undid the constriction of his neck tie, a man who read stories to us at night always indulging in just one more chapter, the dad who told you that if you were quiet, you could hear the germs yell when you put hydrogen peroxide on a cut, those guys deserve all the glory on Sunday.

Happy Father’s Day to all the good dads out there, and may you raise lovely men. Thank you to my husband, my father and all the other dads who wear uniforms all day. May your ties be loose and your lives long. (2018 pro tip: buy him anything but a neck tie, literally anything.)

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