Four for Fathers

I have a lot of fun with holiday-related blog posts.  It’s a great excuse to cruise around the web, reading up on history, customs and other’s traditions.

As for history, I was surprised to find that Father’s Day did not become an official holiday until it was permanently established by President Richard Nixon 1972.  That’s right — it’s only 38 years old.

The first observance took place in Spokane in 1910 — two years after the first Mother’s Day observance.  It seems that Sonora Smart Dodd was listening to a Mother’s Day sermon that brought to mind the sacrifices, love and care that she and her five brothers received from their father after the loss of their mother.

It’s hard to imaging the the idea of honoring both parents was controversial but the idea initially met with mixed reviews.  Some saw it as an opportunity to remind fathers of the importance of caring for their children, to improve connections and to help fathers to embrace the full measure of their responsibility. Senator Margaret Chase Smith advocated for adoption of the holiday writing “Either we honor both our parents, mother and father, or let us desist from honoring either one. But to single out just one of our two parents and omit the other is the most grievous insult imaginable.”

So, in honor of Dads everywhere here are four of my favorite quotes about fathers.

*My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard.  Mother would come out and say, “You’re tearing up the grass.”  “We’re not raising grass,” Dad would reply.  “We’re raising boys.”  ~Harmon Killebrew MLB All-Star and founder of the Harmon Killebrew Foundation

*He didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.  ~Clarence Budington Kelland, author

*Spread the diaper in the position of the diamond with you at bat.  Then fold second base down to home and set the baby on the pitcher’s mound.  Put first base and third together, bring up home plate and pin the three together.  Of course, in case of rain, you gotta call the game and start all over again.  ~Jimmy Piersal, on how to diaper a baby, 1968

*When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around.  But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.  ~Mark Twain, “Old Times on the Mississippi” Atlantic Monthly, 1874

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  • Rick

    When my son was in his early teens, I would repeat that Twain quote to him, but he didn’t think I was quoting it accurately until he was 21.

  • Moms Opposed to Bullying

    Thanks for sharing this. I had no idea that Father’s day was so “young”, not much older than I am. 🙂
    I love the baseball quotes on fatherhood. I think of baseball as one of the best games because of the amount of skill and patience involved. Just like fatherhood.
    Not every father approaches fatherhood the same way, some are dedicated practicing all of the time, some are naturals. Either way it is approached, like baseball as long as they are making contact when it counts, all of the rest will fall into place.
    Some don’t dedicate themselves to the game and when that happens it is easy for the game out of control.
    Excellent post. LOVE the baseball, and fathers!

    • Andrea

      Thanks, Beth. Check out today’s post — my streak is still intact! BTW, will be adding another guest blogger. We worked together in many years ago. His posts should be useful to your violence prevention efforts. Stay tuned!

  • Andrea

    Yes. Pressure’s on. That’s when you do your best work! BTW, check out FRK again today (hat w/ toy soldiers on it) and tomorrow I think (NYT article – re: kids shouldn’t have best friends). She’ll be great. And you can look at Beth’s blog by clicking the link on the front page — kindergarten bullies. She’s the one I told you about. Good stuff.

  • Keyuri Joshi

    What a wonderful read. I loved the comment “we are raising kids, not grass”. It reminds me of my son’s recent comment. I LIKE IT when the house is messy… it feels cozy and who want’s to live in a museum anyway”!