Last Modified: Friday, June 15, 2012 6:00 PM
Here’s a little known fact that might get Dads both knowingly nodding yet ruefully smiling on this special day: Mother’s Day is the busiest holiday for phone calls, but Father’s Day is the No. 1 day for collect phone calls.
OK, but we’ll accept the charges anyway.
When it comes to honoring your father and your mother, Mom has always comes first. Somebody has to, and wise fathers will defer to Mom.
Truth is, Mother’s Day came first by a longshot. President Woodrow Wilson made it a national holiday, but Congress passed on doing the same for fathers for more than five additional decades. Richard Nixon made it official in 1972.
In doing so, Nixon completed the journey started by Sonora Smart Dodd, an Arkansan whose widower father, a Civil War veteran, moved his six children to Spokane, Wash., where he reared them. Listening to a Mother’s Day sermon as a young woman, Dodd decided why not a day for Dad, and launched an effort to which she remained committed for the rest of her long life. She died in 1978.
In part, Dodd was assisted by retail groups who promoted Father’s Day for obvious reasons. The day became identified with purchases of neckties (remember those?) as well as tools and newfangled technology. As retail sales holidays go, it’s no Mother’s Day, but it’s not bad.
But there’s another side to Father’s Day, too, one that should dwarf the greeting cards and the phone calls and even the Father’s Day nap in the new recliner.
It’s not solely about getting but also about giving. It’s the privilege that is accorded to fathers who embrace and cherish their beloved children, helping to guide their lives and to shape their own family’s future, generations ahead. Fatherhood extends to men precious opportunities that should be taken: the chance to coach, to cheer, to share and to show by example.
It gives them the opportunities — and these are important — to learn, to console, to comfort and to understand. In these blessed things, there is only one, original Father’s Day: the day your child is born.
After that, they are all father’s days. This editorial was written by a member of the American Press Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the Board, whose members include Bobby Dower, Ken Stickney,
Jim Beam, Dennis Spears, Crystal Stevenson and Donna Price.
This editorial was written by a member of the American Press Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the Board, whose members include Bobby Dower, Ken Stickney, Jim Beam, Dennis Spears, Crystal Stevenson and Donna Price.