How to Celebrate Father’s Day when Dad’s Not Around
June 13, 2014
With Father's Day coming up, I thought I'd share a little about my dad. When my parents were first married, they owned their own advertising agency in New York City. As you may know, one of the features of NYC is that your home or office may attract a “pet” or “pets” with or without invitation. Sometimes your “pets” are less than ideal - roaches, rats, etc. - and in other cases, they can be somewhat harmless, such as a tiny mouse. In my parents’ case, their office was fortunate to experience the latter.
Both my mom and dad loved animals (guess the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree on that one.) And so, when a little mouse became part of their office staff, it didn’t faze them. Even when my mom became pregnant, the tiny mouse somehow became an unspoken symbol of what was to come and when I was born; my dad gifted my mom with a little porcelain mouse. That quickly extended into their first term of endearment for me: “Baby Mouse,” which naturally evolved into theirs being “Mama Mouse” and “Papa Mouse,” as well.
In 2000, “Papa Mouse” left our beautiful world as we know it, but in my heart, he is, and always will be, with us. With Father’s Day just around the corner, I’m reminded of my dad and his sweet, kind, gentle demeanor. His laugh. His patience. His thoughtfulness. And, his bear hugs. And yet, I’m also a little sad, because my son will never know his “Grandpa Mouse.” And boy, I know how much Grandpa Mouse would have adored him! So, this Father’s Day, I’m going to take some time to share a bit about “Grandpa Mouse” with him.
Although Dads, Moms and Grandparents should be appreciated each day of the year, holidays like Father’s Day and Mother’s Day are great times to remember those loved ones who aren’t with us any longer or those who are not with us in the moment. Whether a parent is in the military and away for their tour of duty, or a parent has passed, here are a few ideas to celebrate Father’s Day without Dad (or Grandpa) present:
Photographs: Look through old photographs of your loved one with your child. Talk about some of the physical characteristics they share or have of theirs. Maybe they have their eyes. Maybe they have their smile. This helps the child connect with your loved one even though they may not be there in person.
Visit a Favorite Place: Take a trip to a favorite park, restaurant or neighborhood where your loved one likes or liked to go. Tell some funny or sentimental stories about them and the place you visit.
Make a Favorite Meal: Although barbecue is clearly a favorite way to enjoy Father’s Day, there’s no reason you have to stay with that tradition. Instead, prepare your loved one’s favorite meal. If your child is old enough, let them help cook or set the table.
Listen to Music: Music is a fantastic way to recall good memories of your loved ones. Play your loved one’s favorite music. Sing and dance to the music with your child.