Father's Day always has been a big day for my family. Not because I like to have a day to celebrate me, but because of what I try to give back to the kids and my wife to make the day special. Usually on Mother's Day, I'm good to get Kari something unique, something special. But I like to give on Father's Day, too; the old adage of better to give than to receive.
Kari was puzzled tonight when I presented her with a new iPhone. Her's is in horrible shape. She has one of the originals and it's been dropped and makes the weirdest buzzing sound when any message comes in. It's time for her to have a new phone and I was able to get her one without breaking the budget. It means much to me that she should get a special gift on Father's Day weekend instead of me.
Being a father with seven kids to take care of, using the screen name of Daddy Claxton, and just really enjoying the part of life where I get to see my kids grow, learn and experience the ups and downs of life, this Sunday in June really has special meaning to me. (On a side note, it's also the same weekend every year I make sure to send my friend, Guy McCullough, who really helped spur my career along through City Stages in Birmingham, AL, a special email wishing him well.)
According to Wikipedia, "Father's Day is a day honoring fathers, celebrated on the third Sunday of June in 52 of the world's countries and on other days elsewhere. It complements Mother's Day, the celebration honoring mothers."
Fifty-two nations. That's almost half around the world.
Wkipedia also calls Father's Day, "a celebration inaugurated in the early twentieth century to complement Mother's Day in celebrating fatherhood and male parenting,
and to honor and commemorate fathers and forefathers. Father's Day is
celebrated on a variety of dates worldwide and typically involves
gift-giving, special dinners to fathers, and family-oriented activities.
"The first observance of Father's Day is believed to have been held on July 5, 1908 in a church located in Fairmont, West Virginia, by Dr. Robert Webb of West Virginia at the Williams Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church South of Fairmont.  The church still exists under the name of Central United Methodist Church."
This is a big holiday for us at our house. Not because I get a bunch of electronic gifts, (in four years I've gotten one, my first iPod in 2006, but we usually do something that includes spending a lot of time with the kids.
I also take time to remember my grandfathers, Andy Sheptak and Edward Claxton. I miss them both.
And I'll take time to call my own dad and thank him for all he's done to help me through life.
And I've been able to enjoy some special memories of my own as a dad.
One year, the kids each printed out on a piece of paper why they love me and what I mean to them.
Do we have a perfect family? No, we don't. Do I make parenting mistakes? I do. Am I perfect? I've never thought it in my life. But I'm doing the best I can.
I want to share something meaningful from a former Father's Day. The kids did these pages on there own and it means so much to me. This is something I still pull out from time-to-time and read when I'm low in spirits, or when I think about the joy from being a dad.
It's sometimes hard to read these but they're very important because they help me remember about what's important to the kids and where I might need to do a little more work.
I love you kids. Sunday we're doing a big party in the backyard. We're grilling out. We're going to have a fire in the pit and we're going to do S'mores until you start shaking from all the sugar! But we're also going to have fun. And that's what makes the day even better.