Ah, Father’s Day. The ritual ties, golf balls, and stores littered with stuff claiming that Dad Wants This! I compiled a list of cool dad stuff too. For us Stay At Home Dads, this can be a very special day. For some, it can mean one of the only days that he is getting a break from his kids for a change. It can mean you are getting that special something from your spouse or partner. Or it can be a meaningful day spent with the kids and family together. However you decide to celebrate it, let’s hear it for the Dads!

I always looked up to my dad. Still do. He wore ties. He taught me how to shave. It made me think about the time I taught my own son how to “shave”

He had an office in our basement at home that was full of fascinating stuff and I am not talking about the 1970s Playboy we found in one of his filing cabinets either. He had an adding machine that my younger brother and I used to play with constantly. I loved to emulate him. His company ran a campaign called V.I.C. (Very Important Customer) which I took upon myself as my personal tag on walls, the underside of the coffee table, and behind the deep freeze in the basement. My mom was reluctant to paint over that last example when we cleaned out the laundry room.

My dad was the hardest working salesman I had ever seen. We marvelled at his ability to get us to eat another spoonful of whatever was for dinner. He worked out of his car and could talk to anyone about anything at anytime. My dad is retired now, but he can still sell another helping of brussel sprouts even if you don’t think you really want them.

As a young boy, finding the right present for Father’s Day was a challenge. I knew he used ties and while he didn’t golf all that much, I knew he probably needed golf balls. Buying a gift for your dad on Father’s Day was a big deal. I was always extra careful about what I wanted to give him. Since he taught me to shave, and I used to watch him do it and then slap on some aftershave, I always thought that was a safe bet.

So what can a young boy afford to buy his Dad? The Walgreens special. English Leather and Old Spice. These are the kinds of fragrances that define a man the likes of Ron Burgundy. These are the heavy duty bottles. The English Leather with the big red plastic top, plastic bottle, adorned by a riding saddle. The Old Spice ceramic hand grenade with the stopper on top. I really had no idea that buying him 36 ounces of this manly concoction would ever go to waste. He seemed super excited when he opened it. I never looked at my mom’s face when he did. I probably would have seen her laughing. It was my go to move.

He graciously accepted every ounce and would give me a big hug. He seemed excited and it made me feel good to get my hero something that made him smile. Best present ever! he would say.

Like I said before, my younger brother and I used to explore every nook and cranny of the house. Once while searching the bathroom, probably for things we could mix together to create new combinations of groundbreaking products, I came across his English Leather/Old Spice stash.

They were tucked in the back of a drawer, all 12 bottles in a row like soldiers standing in attention. The poor guy had to relocate his socks just to accommodate them. Even if you were a 12 year old boy addicted to Axe, it wouldn’t be humanly possible to use all of this up. I still have bottles of 3 oz colognes that I have had for years. But there they stayed, eating up space in his drawer. I am sure he was determined to try and use some of it, maybe when I was watching him get ready for work in the morning just for effect.

I didn’t give him any more aftershave after finding the stash and I am sure he was relieved when I started finding other things he could use instead. What I learned was that even though I gave him so many, he was still as excited as when he opened his very first bottle from me. It’s not about the gift really. It was about his reaction and every time he delivered.

I try to carry this over with my own kids to this day. Making a big deal out of something that they made or an accomplishment of theirs. It is a big deal because you are showing them how much you care about them. This is not the only lesson as you can imagine, my dad taught me.   Whether you are honoring a dad that is no longer with you, celebrating the dads, step-dads, and grandfathers who have shaped you, or enjoying your first Father’s Day, enjoy every moment.

Happy Father’s Day Dad! Pals Forever.

Top Twelve Things I Have Learned from My Dad

1. Love your family with all your heart and soul because they are the only ones you get in life and life is fleeting so enjoy every moment.
2. Life is better when you carry around a balled up paper towel in your hand because you never know when you are going to need one.
3. Toothpicks should be carried with you at all times.
4. “The trip is not over until you have unpacked.”
5. There is no such thing as “too much” outdoor illumination when it comes to Christmas lights. Thanks Clark for all your guidance!
6. Loading the dishwasher is an art and should be treated as such.
7. Breaking down boxes is the key to maximizing recycling efforts and it cuts down on space to bag ratio when it comes to Christmas garbage. Garbage night is a special day in your life, relish it.
8. You can’t really enjoy your dining experience unless someone reads the menu to you.
9. White Lithium Grease is the best lubricant on Earth. If you need something unstuck just use WLG. Also can be used to deter squirrels for your bird feeder. Is there anything that WLG CAN’T DO?
10. No job is ever complete in the eyes of a Bernholdt until you have injured yourself in some way. A few choice words after said injury will make the injury heal much faster. Rubbing some dirt on it and walking it off is always better than Band Aids.
11. The TV announcers are terrible and whenever possible, turn the TV sound off and position the radio as close to your head as possible while watching. This will enhance your viewing pleasure and you will know two seconds beforehand what really happens.
12. Yelling at the TV when your sports teams are playing is always going to help you win.