What Do Fathers Mean To You?


Chris Ambrose

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Hey Dad! You are my super hero and today I salute you.

Fathers have been around since the beginning of time, but until June 19, 1910, in the state of Washington, it had never been celebrated. But this day made it official. However, it was more than 58 years later in 1972, when following President Woodrow Wilson made Mother’s Day official, that Fathers Day finally became a national holiday celebrated in the United States. President Wilson paid tribute to Spokane’s Father’s Day celebrations from Washington, DC., but it was two years later in 1916, after he had passed a Mother’s Day resolution. However, it was eight years later when President Coolidge took it beyond that point, pushing state governments to introduce Father’s Day. However, it was eight years later when President Coolidge took it beyond that point, pushing state governments to introduce Father’s Day.

You may not realize it, but Sonora Smart Dodd, born in Arkansas, was visiting Spokane, Washington in 1910. She celebrated Fathers Day at the YMCA there, hence,  founding the holiday. Her father, a Civil War veteran named William Jackson Smart, had raised six children as a single parent. I would say he deserved to be celebrated for loving and caring for his children alone. 

Does this photo illustration depict your father and how you plan for him to celebrate Sunday, June 16, 2019? I, for one, would love for my father to still be with me, so that building memories were still possible but while swinging along with the great pride we have in our children.

Father’s Day is celebrated in the United Kingdom much the same as it is in America, though when I was growing up, we did not really do so in the same elaborate fashion as in the United States. However, it does fall on the third Sunday of June as in America. As I said, it all began when a young woman wanted to honor her dad.

I was born in 1943 at my mother’s age of 37, and my parents loved me more than imaginable, feeling as though I could do no wrong, and of course, to them, I was the most extraordinary child in the world! And aren’t they all? It goes without saying that they were delighted by my arrival (at least at the time) and from my point of view they were the best parents any boy could ever wish to have.

We lived on a small farm in the South of England together with my grandparents, allowing us to be somewhat semi self sufficient. Boy, that was heaven because I had my dad to help spoil me with activities only a dad and son could ever know. That’s where I learned how to develop my stubborn streak and was I certainly mischievous! I must admit I enjoy that trait even today. 

My Father sure did supply me with ways to act out. It was a beautiful day, and I was out picking apples from the tree when an incredibly fun incident occurred in the apple orchard. Apples did fall from the tree, and they would rot if left on the ground. Well, my Father was coming around the corner, and you guess it…so are you wondering what happened next? Yes, you are right, as I could not resist the temptation of picking up one of those apples and I took aim without much expectation of success…but voila! Much to my surprise…I hit him straight in the face! I admit it…I laughed hard but was not sure what good ole Father was going to think. It was such fun as he started to chase after me, but I was quite a good runner in those days and could easily outrun him. He was not about to take this victory of mine without getting back at me and felt he had. One day we were out in the woods looking for some hazelnuts. I loved this nut, and my Father was cracking the shells with his teeth and extracting the nuts for me. The problem was that I was eating them faster than he could find them, so he did not get his share!

My Grandfather was also a large part of showing me the ropes on how to be ornery. One time while helping him water the garden with a hose I ended up not watering the plants, well…it was far more fun to water him! Do you think that was by accident? Can you imagine his surprise and what he may have had to say? Well, he looked at me and said, you stupid boy, I shall catch a frightful cold! He only sounded harsh, but a pushover where I was involved. My Father and Grandfather played many games with me, and they also protected me when I needed an extra hand. 

But happily, Father’s Day became significantly more important and celebrated throughout the 60’s and 70’s. Why you ask? Because the feminist movement gained traction, and men began sharing household chores more evenly.

Whether your Father shares housework or is the main chief, cook or bottle-washer, be sure he gets a hug of recognition.

My Father had seen rabbit droppings on the ground, picked one up, and put it in the opened nutshell for me to eat. In my greed and haste, I mistook it for another nut and shoved it into my mouth. Ugh, how nasty! He had gotten even…as for me, much spluttering but from him, laughing so loud you could have heard him into the next county. Yes, he was quite pleased with himself. ‘Revenge is a meal best served cold,’ or so he thought.

A few months later, my parents and I had been invited to an elegant wedding.

When everyone was seated, the Father of the bride said to me, Christopher tell us about something funny that has happened to you. I immediately replied without hesitation and in all innocence, When my Father fed me a rabbit’s dropping to eat!

Who then do you think had the last laugh?

One final incident to share with you the loving, and spirited relationship I shared with my Father, only this time was when I was grown up. We were in our car in the city  of Winchester, and my Father was driving. My Mother was in the back, wearing a fancy pink hat. I leaned over and removed it from her head so that I could see what it would look like on my Father’s head. He rejected it three times, but on the fourth attempt, he resigned himself to leaving it on. After a while, we became hungry and started looking for a fish and chip cafe. Further down the street was a young lad walking towards us. So, I said to my Father: ask that lad if he knew where there is a fish and chip cafe, so he pulled up alongside him. The poor boy took one look at this strange man in a pink hat and ran for at least a mile.


Who had forgotten that he was wearing a ladies hat then?

I have the same relationship with my wonderful son Simon, but we are not just Father and Son we are also Best Friends, sharing the same sense of humor and any similar interest such as writing books.

Calling all Fathers…This is your day…Celebrate the love of those that honor you and be grateful you have had the role as a Father!

Fatherhood in the world can mean many different things, but most of all, as a head of family sharing love and to teach his children to know the meaning of compassion for others. He is a provider, protector, game player, entertainment source, sports coach, homework police…you get the idea so what I want to get across to you is Fathers…step up to the job and direct the lives that depend on you. Yes, it can be intimidating, unnerving, disheartening, frightening, but also excellent and rewarding. Many parents find it challenging to balance being a disciplinarian yet also being loving, nurturing parents. It may surprise you to know that men do an outstanding job in each of those roles and meet the challenge even better than the female counterparts.

As I read varying materials about Fathers, it appears most had a clear understanding about their roles and after Mother’s Day became honored, many daughters and sons wanted to see their Fathers rewarded and recognized for the importance they play in the lives of children. The research showed that Fathers that led by example and selfless love encouraged with enthusiasm and instructed from a position of love and respect, ultimately never fails.

Well, hello world…The truth is, it’s not about calling all Fathers, they have already proven to have been worthy of recognition as mine and millions of others, so how about…Calling All Children to Sunday, June 16, 2019?

I do have a few suggestions on how you can spoil that special and extraordinary Father of yours…Yes, I do qualify being both a Father and a son. So, kick up your heels and create your own way to celebrate your Father.

  • Start his day with breakfast in bed
  • My favorite would be a game or chess
  • Beach walking
  • Miniature golf for families
  • Go fishing
  • Play catch
  • Take a bike ride
  • Ask what your Father would like to do
  • Let him sleep in and take the day off
  • Make him something special yourself
  • Sit down and talk to him-share your feelings
  • Visit the zoo

Today and every day, I salute my Father, Grandfather, and all men who care for their families and all children who realize what they have in their lives with loving parents. Finally, I also salute my own son, Simon Ambrose, for his unwavering love, respect, and our mutual admiration, which makes my Fathers Days so extraordinary every day of the year.

Photographs and Illustrations Resources and credits:

Illustration Sources:

Father: Protector

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Chris Ambrose, Author



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