Carter: What I want for Father's Day

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there. I’m very fortunate to be celebrating my sixth Father’s Day as a dad this year with my two wonderful daughters.

Recently, I was asked by the folks at the Marriage Resource and Education Center to help out judging the Awesome Dads contest. It was quite touching to read the submissions from kids across Carroll County, from kindergarten through the 12th grade, to see what they had to say about what makes their dad great. It’s clear we’ve got some really great dads here. (Check out the opinion page on Monday to read more about the contest in the Nonprofit View, including the winners.)


Studies have shown what an incredible impact a father can have on their child, both boys and girls, and the choices they make later in life, particularly when it comes to making relationships. Boys tend to emulate their fathers, while girls will look for the characteristics in men they date and form relationships with that are similar to their old man’s, research shows.

With that in mind, I’m always trying my best to exhibit behaviors I’d want my girls to appreciate in a relationship. (And there is a bit by comedian Chris Rock about having a daughter that sometimes rattles around in the back of my head too. It’s not appropriate to share here, but I’m sure you can find it on YouTube.)

My daughters have been asking me the past few weeks what I want for Father’s Day. And while there are plenty of things sitting in my Amazon cart, I think most dads just want to feel appreciated and spend a little quality time with their kids. So, depending on the weather, we’ll either be at the pool or at the movies watching “Incredibles 2” today.

But the more I thought about it, there are a three things I wouldn’t mind from my kids (and wife) for Father’s Day that don’t come from a store. And I think there are probably a few other dads out there who would agree with me.

1. Turn off the lights and close the door behind you.

Dads have been echoing this one for years. Most days when I come home from work, I head upstairs to get changed before dinner and every stinking light on that floor is on, even if no one is up there. Two hallway lights, two bathroom lights (one room gets plenty of natural light already), the light in each of the kids’ rooms and, sometimes, a light in my wife’s closet. How does this happen? The light switch is right there! As for the door, I think it’s just a fact of life that kids with their short attention spans will wander in and out of a house every 5 to 10 minutes when they are playing outside. Just shut the door all the way. Especially when you’re the one scared of bugs.

2. Turn your clothes rightside out.

For the most part, I do the laundry in our house. The laundry room is in the basement, where I spend a fair amount of time watching football and other sporting events, so I try to multi-task. My wife graciously does the folding, which I’m terrible at for some reason, so long as I match the socks, which is her least favorite thing about the laundry. I also prefer to have control over the sorting ever since someone decided that reds and greys should be washed together and my Fruit of the Looms came out an off-pink. It drives me insane, however, when my wife and kids’ pants and shirts are somehow twisted so that one pant leg or sleeve is inside out, or they somehow leave undershirts or socks inside other articles of clothing. What savages taught you how to get undressed?

3. Not make a big deal about the toilet seat being up.

I get it. I live in a house with three females. The ratio of toilet seat being down vs. up should be pretty high. Can I not be shamed that one time out of 100 I forget? Let’s make a deal – I’ll put the toilet seat down, you turn off the lights when you leave a room.

My gripes are minor. Truth is, there isn’t a better job in the world than being a dad. Happy Father’s Day everyone.