Today we celebrate fathers whose role has become one of a family member sharing the responsibility of managing various tasks, ranging from many parental duties (e.g., changing diapers, watching his child’s favorite episode of Elmo for the forty-seventh time, assisting his child with a mind-boggling math problem, coaching the youth soccer team) to helping to maintain the family unit.
And fathers have embraced this responsibility with great delight. Why? It is because they get the opportunity to play a big part in the lives of their children. They get to witness, more frequently, the accomplishments and milestones along with the trials and tribulations of their daughters or sons. And they get to participate in those special moments they will nostalgically reflect on for years to come.
I, for instance, had the opportunity to witness each of my three sons taking his first steps. This is something I never expected to experience with all three. I would have considered myself lucky to have experienced this with just one of them. But sharing the care-taking task with my wife gave me the opportunity to see my boys accomplish several milestones. And for this, I am truly grateful.
Interestingly, an American Family Survey, reported in a 2019 Deseret News article, revealed that men who were asked to identify the role they consider most important to them selected parenthood. In this survey, the majority of fathers indicated that being a parent is “extremely important” or “very important.” This is considered a robust finding when we consider the way society has historically viewed the role of men in families. Equally impressive is the report, in the same article, of several men who held influential positions, including an Olympian, a jazz musician, a Lieutenant Governor, and a former U.S. president, who identified parenting as their most cherished role in life.
A Role Worthy of Celebrating Today
Whether you are celebrating Father’s Day with the man who raised you or with that special person whom you always saw as a loving father figure, remembering fond memories of the father who is no longer in this world, or encircled with loved ones celebrating your own fatherhood, may your day be filled with love, joy, remembrance, and gratitude.
Happy Father’s Day to all dads!
(From the HPB Archives: Originally published on June 16, 2019.)
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