The qualities of a dad
June 8, 2009
by Jenni Sebora

An author unknown describes a dad as such:

“God took the strength of a mountain,

The majesty of a tree,

The warmth of a summer sun,

The calm of a quiet sea,

The generous soul of nature,

The comforting arm of night,

The wisdom of the ages,

The power of the eagles in flight,

The joy of a morning in spring,

The faith of a mustard seed,

The patience of eternity,

The depth of a family need,

Then God combined these qualities,

And there was nothing more to add,

He knew his masterpiece was complete,

And He called it – Dad.”

This poem so eloquently describes “what makes a dad.”

My father, to me, was strength, yet solitude. He was a hard working farmer, with large hands that seemed to be made for the hard labor that he daily put in lovingly; yet, those large hands represented to me the depth of his giving and caring for his family.

My father was a very hard worker, and a very smart worker. He was very intelligent and wise, a man full of common sense. He could figure math calculations in his mind or on a small pad of paper with a pencil that he always kept with him.

He certainly had the “generous soul of nature.” He was a very giving and kind man. He was always helping out someone or something. Our farm was home to many stray dogs, either by dad bringing them home or they just finding their way to our farm.

I will never forget the day dad came home from the meat market with a large stray black dog that one would call a mutt. His name became Blackie. And Blackie became one of the best, most loving, protective, and intelligent dogs we ever had. I think Blackie knew that he got lucky when my dad took him in, and he wasn’t going to mess it up.

To me, my dad was warmth and the comforting arm. He made me feel safe and secure.

He was also not a loud man. He did not discipline with harsh words or with physical discipline. He disciplined with modeling. When he spoke to us, we listened because we knew it meant something

That is my dad and I am sure there are many children, young and grown, that can describe their dads in the same way, but unique, nonetheless, because it is their dad and their story.

There is varying information as to the start of Father’s Day. The very first observance of this holiday is believed to have been July 5, 1908, by Dr. Robert Webb of West Virginia at the Central United Methodist Church in Fairmont, WV.

However, it may have been a grown daughter that helped in the creation of this day in honor of fathers. Sonora Smart Dodd of Washington arranged a tribute to her dad June 19, 1910, after listening to a Mother’s Day church sermon.

Dodd wanted to show her appreciation to her father, William Smart. Smart, a Civil War veteran, was widowed when his wife died in childbirth. He raised his six children on a farm. Dodd was the first to initiate the idea of having an official Father’s Day observance. June was the month of Dodd’s father’s birthday.

In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge supported the idea of it becoming a national holiday. In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson proclaimed Father’s Day as a national holiday to be celebrated the third Sunday of June. However, the holiday was not recognized officially until 1972, during Richard Nixon’s presidency.

A cool gift idea: a handmade mouse pad. Using craft foam, create your own unique mouse pad for Dad. Personalize it. Write your dad’s name on it. Write a message to your dad on the foam. Make an animal using craft foam.

Make Dad a meal for Father’s Day. Most dads love a home-cooked meal, and probably even more so if prepared with the help of their children.

How about some homemade sloppy joes? Here is a delicious recipe:

1 lb. hamburger

1 can chicken gumbo soup

1/4 cup barbecue sauce

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon dry mustard

Optional: onion

Serve on buns or bread and enjoy with Dad.