Honor your dear old dad this Sunday

Published 9:13 pm Friday, June 18, 2010

Fathers Day is tomorrow — kind of funny, since my dad’s birthday is today. There are some years where they both fall on the same day, making buying birthday presents and Fathers Day presents a little easier.

When it comes to Fathers Day, the idea we get is kind of dated. You can see this in the Fathers Day commercials on TV. Buy Dad a tie, go golfing with Dad, go to the ball game with Dad.

Those are variations on the theme from Fathers Day “back in the day,” and that’s OK. If all of those things apply to things your Dad did for you or you dads do for your sons, that’s great.

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When I was a kid, Dad took me to the Braves games when we lived in Marietta, Ga. I saw Hank Aaron play among some not-so-notable names outside of the Deep South, like Ralph Garr, Felix Millan and Ron Reed.

We didn’t go to many ball games — maybe eight or so — but they were very memorable. We even went to an Atlanta Chiefs soccer game one year when I was really young — sometime before Pele but sometime after Aztec Indians would kill you if you lost their soccer games.

That led to my love for baseball, which led to my love of sports in general, which led to a career in the sports information field before I came here.

You just don’t know how doing something with your kids is going to influence them, and how it will make them take a direction towards an interest or a career.

Bring a kid to work one day, and your children may follow in your professional footsteps. Bring your kids to the library, and they may become a teacher, scientist, writer or pretty much anything.

My parents divorced when I was 14, so I didn’t see Dad very often after that, and when I went off to college, the times I got to see him were fewer and farther between.

We grew apart over the years, and it was quite a while before I got back in touch with him. We kind of picked things back up where they should have been, and it’s almost like being 12 again.

There are fathers out there who don’t do much for their children because they don’t know how to be a dad. I hear stories all the time about “deadbeat dads” and “sperm-donor” dads who think they have too much of a life to spend time with their kids.

I feel sorry for kids like that, but very often, they become much better dads than their own fathers were.

This is a day when we honor our fathers, but I want to ask all fathers to look back on their daddy careers, think of all the things you did with your children and take pride in how they turned out.

Happy Fathers Day.

David B. Snow is the managing editor of The Demopolis Times.