This past Father’s Day was my 5th one, but my first after having my son. Usually days like this make you remember the good ole times but for some reason, on this day there was no remembering.
I struggled long and hard to recall a Father’s Day from my childhood but to no avail. I couldn’t. It was as if I was Ben Affleck from the movie Paycheck and I had parts of my memory erased. I realized of course that I didn’t really grow up with my dad as my grandmother raised me from about age 10 to age 19, but still, not even a single Father’s Day memory. Maybe they’re there repressed somewhere. Who knows. But what I do know is that they apprently weren’t significant enough to leave a mark in my mind.
It has something to do with the commercialization of the day. The same holds true for Mother’s Day. I’d throw in International Children’s Day (May 5th) but that isn’t as big yet. I think the real problem here is that these days seem forced. The gifts too. Don’t get me wrong. We all love our families and want to show our appreciation but something doesn’t feel right about these days to me anymore. I feel like I’m celebrating it with the whole world. The inner-bonds among family members are much more personal and intimate and deserve a recognition that is on par with that. So here is my 3 step process to enhancing your family’s strength.
1. Get Family.
Each family should have their own “family” day where all roles are recognized and celebrated. Think of it as a family reunion where only the immediate family is invited. In my case we’re having “Godfrey Day” or “G-Day” if you like to shorten everything like I do.
2. Set date.
Have your family pick any date they want to celebrate their day. Heck you can even pick a different date each year. The point is that it should be something that works for your family. The only rule I’d suggest is that this event happens at least once a year. If your family can manage feel free to do it twice a year or even quarterly.
3. Make memories.
Now that you have your family and the date set its time to make the event worth while. To do this, this day has to stand out from your typical birthday, graduation, holiday. It has to be special. Maybe your family decides to go rock-climbing, or volunteer at a soup kitchen, or sky-diving. Doesn’t matter. It just has to be a speical event that each family member can participate in.
So whats the point of all this. Its not just to make memories. Its there to not only strengthen, but create bonds between each family member. When the kids are all grown up and married, you will have laid a solid foundation in them so that their new families will have someone who is like a rock, well-grounded and in-tune with the inner-workings of the family unit. That new family will then have their own “family day” and the cycle continues.