Dolly Merritt: Honoring dads is important

Having had the privilege of celebrating many Mother's Days, I've recently noticed the disparity between honored mothers and honored fathers.

Mothers are always portrayed with glowing, unabashed sentimentality. Still, we all know dads love their children just as much, but for some reason - like the late comic Rodney Dangerfield's favorite slogan - they get no respect.


I noticed this recently when I was looking for a Father's Day card for my husband. I wanted the card to be special and maybe a little mushy. But I never saw as many sweet sentiments for dads that are so prevalent for moms. There were few hearts and no flowers; instead, a gamut of comic cards portraying tool-toting, golf-swinging, beer-drinking, couch-potato dads.

After composing myself from a good belly laugh, guilt overtook me as I thought about my husband, who likes to play golf, have an occasional beer and lounge in his overstuffed chair. (He's not much of a tool guy, though.)

I thought of all that testosterone that never interfered with his willingness to change diapers. Nor did it keep him from alternating Saturdays with me to get up with two babies so I could sleep a little later.

He even gave up golf because his job required him to work at nights and playing on the weekends - leaving me to care for our babies every Saturday - seemed unfair to him. Not that I didn't remind him of that fact.

At that time, more dads were beginning to put aside their manly duties in order to spend extra time with their children. The practice evolved to today's active fathers.

Through the years, my husband's dad duties increased as he watched our young children during my trip to the grocery store, played games with them after dinner while I cleaned up the kitchen, and took our children to the movies when I needed to be elsewhere.

In addition, he coached baseball and basketball teams and umpired our daughter's softball games. In between, he served as PTA president.

With all this in mind, I resolve to make this Father's Day extra special.

I'll write him a mushy poem about what a great dad he's always been.

How about a bunch of flowers? Real men enjoy them, too.

I promise no more gifts of ties, shirts or belts.

I vow not to take him to my favorite restaurant.

Instead, he can eat in his favorite spot - our dining room, where he can feast on his favorite home-cooked meal.

On his special day, I'll take out the trash.


I'll even beg him to watch sports on his big-screen TV.

And when he hasn't heard a word I've said, I won't pout.

June 16 will be his day. Despite my new promises of special recognition for the super dad that he is, I know the best part of the holiday for him will be spent celebrating it in the usual way with our son and daughter: opening gifts like ties, shirts and belts, painstakingly chosen by our children for the man who insists, "I don't need anything," and laughing over cards portraying tool-toting, golf-swinging, beer-drinking, couch-potato dads.