The history of Father’s Day is pretty fascinating. Confirming the belief of some that dads get short shrift, it took almost 60 years after Mother’s Day was recognized as a national holiday for it to become the same.

It was initially met with skepticism “as one florist explained, ‘fathers haven’t the same sentimental appeal that mothers have.’”

This I believe has certainly changed over the years, at least in the home of this softie.

Mother’s most definitely deserve to have a day where they are recognized for their work, love and sacrifice that all too often goes unappreciated.

Father’s Day, at least in my case, is nice to have, but not completely necessary. At the risk of sounding corny – which is the province of all dads – everyday is Father’s Day for me.

I am blessed with three amazing children. They are smart, funny, talented and kind. Each day presents an opportunity to feel proud of them. Not because of what they achieve, although that is often impressive, but because of who they are.

At the same time, I must admit my role in their lives continues to shift in ways I’m not always psyched about. Early this week, one of my girls showed me a video from when they were toddlers. As our oldest hammed it up in front of the camera, our middle daughter could be heard calling for “Daddy.” I was inside the house and she wanted me with her. Again and again, she would call for “Daddy” – the want and worry in her voice increasing with each call. Until I finally appeared and all was good in her world.

Today the requests take on a different tone.  “Stop chewing!”  “Can you give me a ride?” “Can you please leave me alone?”

My jokes are less funny, my requests to hear about their day not always met with enthusiastic responses. “Daddy” has evolved into simply “Dad” most of the time –  much to my chagrin.

Still there are more than enough moments of kindness, conversations, realness, joy and laughter to sustain me. To simply be in the same room, on the same field, in the same car is enough. I appreciate that those times are also limited.

Each night as they prepare to go to sleep, I tell each of them I love them and say “sweet dreams.” Most nights, they respond in kind, “I love you dad. Sweet dreams.” Little do they know that I am living the dreams of fatherhood now, and they are indeed very, very sweet.

This Week’s Recommendation:  For those dad’s now whose own father is no longer alive , I hope this piece I wrote for Esquire might help make sense of this confusing reality.

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