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Grandma C. in Da House!

The moms got a break for Mother's Day, and now the lone dad gets a break for Father's Day! In Daddy Daze's stead, his mother, the incomparable Grandma C., does blog duty:

Daddy Daze and Grandpa C., flexing some fatherly muscle

I'm delighted to step in for Dave on this Father's Day. Although Grandpa C. and I live almost 2,000 miles from Chez Daddy Daze, we will get "the boys" together for Father's Day this year (which also happens to be our son-in-law's birthday and the date of a very special dance recital). Distance is the enemy around here, so when we do finally gather together, we pack in as many celebrations as possible.

This year, I can't think of a better occasion for bonding than Father's Day.

It's thanks to Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington, that we actually commemorate Father's Day. It seems that Sonora, the youngest of five children, lost her mother on the day of her birth and was raised by her father. While listening to a Mother's Day sermon she felt that this same recognition ought to be paid to fathers — especially her own. Since Sonora's father's birthday was in June, the very first Father's Day was celebrated the following month, on June 19, 1910.

<Historically, a father served as the figurehead of a family. It seemed that providing financial stability and shelter from the cold was the extent of his responsibilities. In the fifties, popular TV shows like Father Knows Best and My Three Sons reinforced Dad's role as a confidante to his children.

In the 1970s mothers went to work, Dads rolled up their sleeves, and put on the aprons. Educators and therapists noted the importance of fathers' involvement in the lives of their children, and today I'm so impressed to watch families share everything from their hearts.

As much as I admire my own father, he wouldn't have participated in raising his children in the way that my son is involved with his. That's not to say that my father isn't a good man — he is. But most men of that generation conducted themselves as he did, letting mother take care of the baby bottles, formula, laundry, cleaning, and children.

My husband, Grandpa C, was a real trooper when we were young. He loved our kids to pieces and is as proud as a peacock of each one of them today. I have great memories of his involvement. He changed diapers (begrudgingly) and gave baths (when pressed).

My son, Dave, changed diapers and gave baths routinely from day one. He takes the children to story time, music classes, swimming lessons, and more. He prepared the bottles and does laundry (which never happened when he lived at home!). As a couple, he and his wife compliment each other wonderfully. They live as equals and it's fantastic to see.

The evolution of one generation of dads to the next is as endearing as it gets. Fathers deserve recognition for this changing role in the lives of their children. Their increased involvement a special balance in the family structure. As a result, I expect that some very centered adults will be heading up the next generation!

Sonora Smart's father took on his role as the result of unfortunate circumstances. Not all would have risen to such an occasion, and he deserves to have the first Father's Day come about in his honor. As for me, Father's Day gives me a chance to swell with pride over the men in my life. This post is a tribute to them all — especially, my son, Dave who goes above and beyond in his role as a parent.

Happy Father's Day to Dad, Dave, and David (aka "Grandpa C.")!


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