It's Father’s Day in the U.S. A holiday dedicated to celebrating and honoring our fathers and yet...do we even know what dad really likes?
Every year I get my dad one of two things: Clothes (because he never buys any) or BBQ/grilling equipment. Why? I honestly don’t know. I’ve always associated my dad with grilling. Don’t tell me you don’t feel the same even a little bit. I also used to get him the occasional tool from Sears or Home Depot, but I never got him the right sizes or set, or got him tools he already had to which he brutally asks, “Why’d you waste your money?”
Soon enough I stopped getting him things, because I never knew what he wanted. Even Amazon’s recommendations didn’t know. They suggested Father's Day items are either watches, cooking knives, or more grilling stuff. I guess I could get the old man a Fitbit and a new bike helmet to motivate some exercise...it’d be fun to watch him fiddle with a Fitbit.
So what does dad really want? Well it occurred to me, I should ask him! Last year I asked my father what he had wanted for Father’s Day, and all he said was that he wanted a card and to spend some time with me. Well around this time last year I was giving birth to my son Axel. He showed up excited to be a new grandpa and hold his grandkid for the first time. I’ll never forget hearing his big thumping footsteps in the hallway and calling out to the nurse, “Is that my grandkid?!” before even seeing me in the room.
I had packed his Father’s Day card with me, and surprisingly he had wrote me a card too for being a new mom. I don’t remember exactly what I wrote, just the simple “why I love you” and “why you’ll be a great grandpa”.
He read it in the hallway and came back with tears in his eyes. Told me it was the best gift ever (besides his grandson of course).
I know I had the emotional assistance of a new baby on my side, but he still has that card on his nightstand. I think that the most precious thing to him is knowing how much I appreciate all his hard work and that I love him, even though we don’t see or talk to each other every day, every week, or sometimes every month.
This Father’s Day I want to encourage you to do something that will let dad know that you truly appreciate and care for him. This could be in the form of a card, a questionnaire, a baked good, or simply ask him what he wants! And don’t take no for an answer.
We also want to celebrate our own Honey Girl Fathers! Inspired by the Mother’s Day interviews, we decided to do some interviews for the dads that work so hard at Honey Girl. This is also a great template to ask your own father to get to know them better and have a bonding experience.
Did you work and raise your kids? What was the hardest thing about working and raising kids?
Johnny: Yes, I worked but I was lucky that I was able to work from home most of the time as a freelance graphic designer and illustrator. That allowed me to tackle the hardest aspect of modern parenthood--the balancing of work and family life
Keone: Yes but fatherhood is so wonderful that I don’t think work is hard for me.
Johnny & his sons Alex and Maxx with their dog Madison circa 1997 Santa Fe, New Mexico
What did you have as a kid that kids don’t have today?
Johnny: Shortwave radio, black and white TV, and telegrams.
Keone: Well on my end I think everything would still be the same.
What was one of the hardest moments you had being a father and why was it hard?
Johnny: Having to be the disciplinarian! It was completely contrary to my own “inner childish” nature. I really disliked that.
Keone: So far my fatherhood moments are so great that I don’t ever have hard ones. Positivity and hope for the best moments of my life.
Was there something that your parents did when you were a kid that you swore you’d never do yourself?
Johnny: Yes. I thought I would never get as upset with my children as my own father was at me sometimes! Haha. Joke was on me.
What advice would you give to new dads?
Johnny: Relax and enjoy the ride. It will be one of the best, most wonderful and fulfilling experiences of your life.
Keone: Whatever you are, be a good one and have fun doing it. :)
Any favorite or funny memories of your kids?
Johnny: One fourth of July in Southern California the kids and I entered a sand castle building contest. We won an honorable mention and had our photos printed in a local newsletter.
Keone: Yes my favorite is when she is happy to see me.
Keone & his daughter Camryn
Any inspirational dad quotes or corny dad jokes?
Johnny: My father in law once told me, before you speak out ask yourself:
Is it true?
Is it kind?
Is it necessary?
Keone: “I don’t trust stairs...they’re always up to something.”
A big MAHALO from all of us at Honey Girl Organics to our Honey Dads! We appreciate all the hard work, dedication and corny dad jokes on the daily! We love you guys!
And to everyone reading, have a wonderful Father’s Day and don’t forget to ask him what he really wants!
Written by Tiffany Shelton