June officially kicks off summer and a whole new mindset. Graduating seniors walk across the stage to get their diplomas with smiles that radiate hope for the future. Backyard BBQs present a perfect Norman Rockwell scene with Dad at the grill. Warm, nostalgic memories are the Facebook meme of choice on Father’s Day as folks reflect on the time they spent with their dads and all that they learned from them or stepfathers, uncles, or caring neighbors who stepped in and played the part.
Interestingly, few people post memories of dads heading off to work and disappearing for eight to 10 hours every day. Instead, I see lots of photos of dads after work, off work, and — best of all — on vacation.
The most iconic family vacation pictures show the old woodgrain-sided station wagons with luggage strapped to the roof and kids peering eagerly out the windows in anticipation of new sights and exciting experiences. Other pictures show a kindly uncle or grandfather in a workshop, teaching a young man how to operate a wood lathe or tie a fishing lure.
Fatherhood is all about teaching the next generation, and the best way to do that is through hands-on experience. After all, you’ll never understand the magnificent taste of a fine French restaurant or a glass of wine just by reading a book about it. You need to experience it.
Make the most of your time off
We cherish time off — whether it’s spent at a ballgame after a grinding day at work or on a weeklong vacation to melt away stress. Sure, if you have the budget, you can fly to Hawaii. But here in the Mid-Atlantic, there are enough recreation options to satisfy even the smallest budget. You can take a hike in a state park for free or a very small fee. And our Calendar of Events lists a host of other free things to do nearby.
If you have children, do something with them and experience life together. It’s the best gift you can give them.
Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers, surrogate fathers, father figures, and anyone else who spends time helping and teaching others.