As a kid my experiences of Father’s Day always involved some sort of sign of appreciation to my Dad for being a great Dad. However, we were not a family that often had outward expressions of familial emotions. Usually gifts for my Dad were always something that we figured he would like. My sister and brother always tended to get my Dad a new bathing suit for the summer season. I would usually get him something he would never in a million years want or need. A good example of this is the year that I gave my father a long silk robe for Father’s Day. It was a really beautiful silk robe, burgundy colored with paisley accents. I thought it was the perfect gift. After my father opened the gift he thanked me and I guess we all had dinner. I never saw the robe again until about a year later I asked him about the robe.

He said yes it was nice. Yes he liked it. But, being a smoker (at the time) he didn’t want to risk having ashes ruin the silk. Besides, I really think he thought I was trying to incinerate him in such a highly flammable garment. Really that wasn’t true. The real issue was this…I thought it would be something he would like. Well that was the problem. When choosing Father’s Day presents or Christmas gifts or birthday presents it is really best not to buy things for others that you would like to have yourself. Yes, my intentions were good. But my Dad is a retired policeman…not really the silk and paisley sort. More like heavy flannel or terrycloth but definitely not the silk type. I really don’t know what I was thinking except perhaps my Dad would look like Noel Coward in such a great and tasteful dressing gown.

I suppose we do things like this all of the time. Try to give people things that we think they should have. Father’s Day is really not about forcing gifts on Dad that he would never wear. My sister and brother have over the years come up with a lot of ugly plaid bathing suits as well. My Dad really never showed any distaste or disappointment with any gifts we gave him. He always used them and appreciated our thoughts as well as gifts…no matter how ugly or unseemly they were.

Well my daughter is eight years old and she is always giving me some type of drawing as a gift. On Father’s Day, I anticipate another Katie original and I am really glad to get new works of her art. I know some day in the future she will try to dress me in a silk robe, or an ugly plaid bathing suit…like we tried with our father. But really, I now know that it isn’t about the gift. It is about paying homage and giving thanks for a father that always provided and continues to provide for me.

This Father’s Day I am going to try to give my father something he really wants. That is some real…undisturbed time in-front of his television watching B movies on the sci-fi channel. I am going to make sure he gets that time. Of course it is really no different from any other day in his channel surfing afternoons, but this Sunday perhaps I will even watch the B movies with him and give him the ultimate gift…no complaining about the B movies he is watching on the sci-fi network. While its not really as snazzy as a silk robe accentuated with paisley, I have finally learned that the best gift is just being there…and letting my father be there as well…no matter how he chooses to celebrate the day.

By the way, my Mom told me to take the silk robe and use it myself. It was a gift more in tune with my tastes not my fathers. I guess I should think twice about giving him this years gift…a limited edition of Mozart’s best compositions…most likely I’ll get that back in a subtle way as well.

Happy Fathers Day to everyone out there. Appreciate your Dads. You never know how much longer you will have with them to teach you about the better parts of life, and to humor you when you give him gifts like silk, burgundy with paisley accented robes. Well…at least the “Leisure Suit” is no longer in vogue!

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