Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day

It lagged a bit behind Mother's Day, at least in the United States.  I remember celebrating Father's Day during my childhood although it wasn't an "official holiday." According to some historical sources, there were multiple attempts to declare an official Father's Day Holiday, all of which failed for one reason or another. Reportedly it was Margaret Chase Smith who accused Congress (in 1957) of ignoring fathers for 40 years while honoring mothers, thus honoring "out just one of our two parents." Some of you may recall that President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1966 issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father's Day. Finally, six years later, a permanent national holiday was created when President Richard Nixson signed legislation. Recently I read a news blurb mentioning that "International Men's Day is celebrated in many countries on November 19 for men and boys who are not fathers." I thought about that. In a global sense, there are many ways to "father" a person. Donating sperm may be the least of which.  Today, in addition to  honoring the memory of my biological father, I also recall the many males who have encouraged and affirmed me personally and professionally, sometimes smoothed the way for me, sometimes provided wise counsel, sometimes taught me valuable lessons through their functional (or dysfunctional) behaviors, and often made me laugh uproriously with their fabulous sense of humor.  Ah, yes. There are many ways to "father."  I'm grateful for mine!

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