Traverse City Record-Eagle

Northern Living

June 15, 2014

Garret Leiva: A salute to dad's day this year

Millions of men today will receive a tie, gadget or gizmo destined for the back of a closet. Most guys think it’s the greatest gift in the world — fatherhood.

I raise my “No. 1 Dad” coffee mug in solidarity to every dad, daddy, pops and pa.

Since 1927, the third Sunday in June is a day to honor dads. It is a holiday whereby men are forbidden to mow the lawn. We are actually encouraged to play golf and even given TV-remote carte blanche.

Father knows best — or everyone agrees to pretend — for one day.

Father’s Day gifts often fall into the tried-and-true triumvirate: ties, tools and sporting goods. Electronics are another perennial pick. Others give aftershave or other hygiene products that say, “I love you Dad, you stink.”

Just remember, no dad really wants to open a box of “some assembly required.” The only Screwdriver daddy-o might pick up today is one served in a highball glass.

I subscribe to the one-socket-set-is-never-enough mantra. However, the greatest Father’s Day gift doesn’t come in standard or metric. Fatherhood is a keeper present; even without a lifetime warranty.

Comedian Bill Cosby said “Fatherhood is pretending the present you love most is soap-on-a-rope.” My dad feigned delight for Aqua Velva. I’ve gotten a bit giddy about shaving cream.

It is really the thought from a certain 12-year-old girl that counts. I’d rather get a hand-made paper weight from the heart than a generic gift certificate.

Actually, in our digital age, the best keepsakes are a few written words.

A child’s words are treasured on Father’s Day; indelible thoughts written in equally permanent ink. Crayon scribbles have turned into sincere sentences. Each card is tucked away into a dresser drawer; her earnest words into my heart.

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