I have never asked for nor have I needed gifts from my kids for Father's Day. I am happy to get a hug and an 'I love you Daddy' (and possibly an undisturbed afternoon nap) for Father's Day.
I don't need anything that came with a price tag or was ordered online (most likely with my credit card) for Father's Day or any holiday/birthday for that matter. Yet, every year, I am treated to unwrapping whatever it is my kids have given to me. I have been the recipient of a battery powered lightsaber, I have gotten a light up thing that spins around to create a pseudo-hypnotic light show if you spend more than 30 seconds staring at it, I have been given book markers made from tongue depressors, toys from McDonald's Happy Meals, and my fair share of hand drawn pictures and homemade cards.
On birthdays or Christmas or Father's Day, when my kids have put the thought and effort in to getting me something, I cannot help but be moved. When my kids decide to get me something (or anything), be it a pink scarf or platypus Beanie Baby or a picture they drew, I swell with the pride that only a parent can feel for their kids. I don't even care what I open. I get more out of watching their faces as I open whatever it is they wrapped with 3 rolls of scotch tape as I do finding out what I'm unwrapping.
While I may not have any need for the lightsaber outside of scaring the living daylights out of the dog, I hold each one of my gifts I have ever received, in the same esteem. It makes no difference to me because no matter what it is, I know I'm going to love it. I look past the 'what' and see only how even a sculpture of juice boxes can melt my heart. What the gifts are is inconsequential. Who I am getting the gifts from is infinitely more meaningful to me.
It has been my honor, privilege, and great joy over these past 10 years to be 'Daddy' to my girls. To watch them grow. To share all life has to offer with them. To hold them, hug them, kiss them, smile and laugh with them. To be as much of an impact on their lives as they have been to mine. I have been more than willing to give all I am and all that I have to my two angels.
And while the only reward I crave comes from their happiness, well-being, their smiles and laughter, and their love, sometimes, on special days like Father's Day, my kids see fit to reward me for being 'Dad' with Lightsabers, Bookmarkers, and Homemade cards.
What has been your favorite or most memorable Father's Day gift? Let me know and see it in next weeks' column. Email me at email@example.com.
Jimmy Ettele is an Exeter Dad who writes the blog Founding a Father for Berks-Mont Newspapers.