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June 13, 2012

Dadisms, Not To Be Confused With Dadaism

Ryan-giggsIrony Fuel: my friend Doug writes a great post about why we dads should care about how brands depict us, on the same day that I drop another sponsored post by a cool brand (Dove Men+ Care) who is eager to work with dads. (BTW - I actually don't disagree with Doug; I simply don't buy or work with brands that paint me out to be an idiot. I figure that if enough dads AND their wives/partners do the same, the market will sort things out. Yay capitalism!)

The good people at Dove Men+ Care asked me to talk about Father's Day. How do I celebrate Father's Day? An excellent question. I rarely give it much thought - frankly, as a semi-professional dadblogger, this June and last I approached Father's Day as an event around which I had to structure content. Father's Day is less of a holiday, and more of an editorial nightmare. 30 Days of Dads! Wrangling a bunch of guest bloggers! While working a 40+ hour a week day job! Jesus. I should have started a knitting blog. 

Father's Day has always presented a bit of a conundrum for me, as it has for many of the dads I know. My dad is a bit of a workoholic, and I'm starting to grudingly admit that a) I might have inherited that gene and b) despite the laid-back SoCal surfer/slacker/contrarian nihilist image I go to great lengths to project, being a bit of a workoholic has actually worked out for me. Right now, for example, I'm sitting in a hotel room in mid-town Manhattan, here because I'm attending a social media conference that my employer sent me to because I'm one of my company's social media managers, a job I landed because I spent the past 6 years busting my ass on this and other websites, and doing all of the social media promotional stuff that goes with it. I don't say this to brag, or humblebrag; quite the opposite. I'm genuinely amazed that I'm right here, right now. And certainly I owe a tremendous debt to everyone who reads this site, laughs at my stupid tweets, lets me post on their blogs, and invites me to speak at their events. 

So what does that have to do with Father's Day? 

On the weekends, I find myself watching a lot of English soccer matches. The kids are early risers; more often than not, they'll both be on the couch with me, and watch the games with a surprising amount of patience and interest. Something that never fails to move me: at the conclusion of a good match, when the fans are cheering their team, singing songs, displaying their affection to their team as only English soccer fans can, the players themselves take to the field and give a standing clap to those fans. It's a lovely acknowledgement. The first time either of my kids saw this, they thought it was strange - why are the players cheering the crowd? The players did all of the work. I explained it to them. Thank you, the players say. Because without you, that pass or save or goal I made is meaningless

And ultimately, that's why I'm perfectly content to do nothing special on Father's Day. I don't have a whole lot of Dadisms - the title of this post refers to the oft-repeated phrases we dads use to impart wisdom to our kids - but I do find myself telling the kids that gratitude should be expressed early and often. It's trite, but true: without them, Father's Day is meaningless.


This post was sponsored by Dove Men+ Care, who have a great contest going on at their Facebook page. Drop by, give 'em your favorite Dadism, and you could win the Ultimate Father's Day Gift Pack.


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