Father’s Day has always been a dilemma for me. I viewed this special day as just another difficult adventure in finding a gift for my dad that he probably did not need or want. It wasn’t until I had my first Father’s Day, as a dad myself, that I truly understood what Father’s Day is all about.
When I was younger I could not afford to buy anything I thought my dad would want. When I had entered the working world with a good salary I could not find him anything he wanted that he didn’t already own.
That is not to say my dad put any pressure on me for a good gift. He always said he didn’t want a gift and didn’t care if he received anything. It was my own feelings of fairness that contributed to my frustration. Only a month before I had given Mom a nice gift for Mother’s Day, How could I ignore Father’s Day and not get Dad an equally good gift?
Before my first Father’s Day arrived, my wife asked what I wanted for the
special day. Because I still viewed this day as a time for a distinctive gift, I asked for something I truly wanted and needed: a GPS unit. In telling my wife what I wanted, I thought I was helping her and avoiding the quandary I had been faced with all my life.
When Father’s Day arrived we were in our usual rush. We went to church and then to my parents and before we knew it the day had slipped away. When we arrived back home I told my wife that I needed to go to work for a couple hours to finish a project for that week. We both, in our rushing around, had forgotten about the gift.
Later that night I came home after everyone was asleep. I quietly opened the door and walked into the kitchen. On the counter was a card on top of a kit for making handprints. The kit had plaster that could be mixed with water and poured into the tin that held the kit. I opened the card and tears flowed as I read what my wife had written: “I am sorry I was not able to get you what you wanted for Father’s Day. I thought this would be something that you and Elizabeth could do together. Think of it as a GPS to her heart.”
Now I knew what Father’s Day was about and what gift would make me happy. Father’s Day is about the children I love. The greatest gift they can give me is the time we spend together.