I gave my dad a bottle of Old Spice every year for Father’s Day. When we inevitably went to the drugstore in the spring to pick up medicine for my allergies, I tugged on my mom’s sleeve and reminded her that the annual bottle of cologne needed to be purchased. I wrapped the bottle in the Sunday comics and hid it beneath my bed each year until the special day came. On Father’s Day I produced it proudly and watched with pride as my dad unwrapped his gift.
My siblings and I gave him other gifts too, goofy drawings, personalized golf tees, homemade cookies, but that bottle of Old Spice came just from me. To tell the truth, it’s possible my father hated the smell of Old Spice, but he obliged by wearing it on special occasions dipping into his endless supply. The fragrance is still comforting. The logo made me imagine my father as a sea captain, and with his ruddy complexion and sometimes salty language I didn’t stray far from the mark. Giving my father that bottle each year became a deep ritual for me. As an adult I learned my father’s tastes better, he loves the novels of Ernest Hemingway, an ice cold Arnold Palmer, and a long hike through the woods.
Sometimes I indulge these other pastimes in my gift giving, but for Father’s Day he always get a bottle of Old Spice and a card from me.
My daughters tug at me now, wanting to find something special for their father. I look to find something with the heft and staying power of that annual bottle of cologne, but my husband is of his generation and prefers to play video games, watch sports, and never wears any fragrance besides soap. Instead we plan to host a great Father’s Day event for him, an event that I hope we can make as traditional as my Father’s Day gift to my father.
My youngest daughter fancies herself a great poet and has organized a reading of a half dozen poems. How many words rhyme with Dad? For the record, less than you think; but, her pride in her work always make my husband smile. My middle daughter loves to shop on the internet, a far cry from my drug store days. She tugged on my sleeve the other day to ask if I would order Shari’s Berries Father’s Day gifts to give her dad at our celebration. The chocolate covered strawberries decorated like little baseballs and footballs are just too cute to deny, and Shari’s mails straight to the house. I’m also sending boxes to my dad in North Carolina. It’s possible the berries will become a staple around the house.
Additionally we are organizing an in house MarioKart tournament as my oldest daughter promises to defeat her father once and for all. When I asked her if destroying him on his special day was appropriate, she simply replied, “He’ll be so proud.” Which seemed sound logic, though I imagine he’ll be a little sore after losing to a seven-year-old.
Fathers teach us to burp, read comic books, and play video games. Honoring them on their special day whether it’s a staid bottle of cologne or a devastating loss at a video game, winds these special relationships tighter. Hope your have a great day with the dads in your life!