Fathers play a special role in the lives of children. There is some evidence that Father’s Day has been celebrated for thousands of years before the official Presidential designation of Father’s Day by President Nixon in 1972.
A young Babylonian boy named Elmusu carved a message on a clay tablet wishing his father a peaceful and enjoyable life. While the discovery of the tablet suggests that there may have been thankful expressions expressed to fathers by their children, the creation of an official day honoring fathers was long in the making.
In America, it is thought the first Father’s Day celebration may have occurred in West Virginia in 1908 where a sermon delivered by Dr. Robert Webb extoled the virtues of fatherhood. Sonora Smart Dodd is thought to have been the catalyst behind the creation of Father’s Day. Her mother had died at the birth of her sixth child and Mrs. Dodd’s father, Henry Smart; a decorated Civil War soldier had acted the role of mother and father in her life. Mrs. Dodd felt that he had given so much to his children that he should be honored for that commitment and along so many other deserving fathers.
Some would argue that mothers are the most important parent in the household. After all, mothers get more telephone calls on mother’s day than fathers do on Father’s day. Fathers get more collect calls for Father’s Day than mothers do. As a father I am often called to fix something or look at something or to listen to the strange noise coming out of the car.
Fathers like mothers approach parenting as differently as the stars in the sky. I do believe that there are some fundamental things that men can do to be a good father.
Good fathers love their children’s mother and treat her accordingly. This one thing maybe the thing or the most important thing.
Reach the writer at Hurlburt@wildblue.net.