Schmooze your Daddy in Truckee Tahoe

jMama Mia! I am a recently divorced woman with one little boy. I hate to ask this question because I donand#8217;t want people to think I am some kind of feminist single mother who is trying to negate the role of the man in a family, but Fatherand#8217;s Day has me wondering: What is it and why celebrate it?

Relax girlfriend! Your anonymity is safe with me and#8212; I will never tell anyone where the liberal feminist Mama who angrily questions the patriarchal nonsense of the day is living. Many women challenge the validity of the holiday for a variety of reasons, none of which may be personal angst toward men. I am myself an information junky so I love to learn about things like this. Thanks for asking!

Interestingly, the creator of Fatherand#8217;s Day wasnand#8217;t a lucrative card maker trying to make more millions or even a father. Instead it was a woman named Sonora Smart Dodd from Spokane, Wash., who wanted to honor her hard-working father in a special way. Henry Jackson Smart had raised Sonora and her five other siblings alone on a rural farmstead after her mother died in childbirth with their sixth child. In 1909, as an adult, Sonora began to realize the strength and selflessness her father had shown in raising their family. The official holiday was named in 1966, when President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation declaring the third Sunday of June as Fatherand#8217;s Day.

Perhaps going back to your childhood and revisiting fond memories of your own Daddy-o will serve you better. Especially if the childhood envisioned for your little one hasnand#8217;t worked out to include an overwhelming sense of esteem for the man with whom you originally shared DNA, or doesnand#8217;t include a man at all. If that provides another dead end, just conjure up who served as your positive male role model and remember him with kindness and respect. Once you can stand firmly on this platform, it will be a lot easier to celebrate the holiday or at least talk about it with little Joey in a more respectful tone.

I do understand if apprehension remains. I have several single mom friends as well as mom-mom families who absolutely cannot understand all the Fatherand#8217;s Day fuss. Who worry tremendously about little Joeyand#8217;s inner realm at school the day his classmates make cute pine cone bird feeders for Daddy. The flip side are the many married mom friends who feel Fatherand#8217;s Day is a great opportunity to demonstrate gratitude and admiration toward the other hustling, bustling parent running the family; the opposite side of the Motherand#8217;s Day coin if you will.

The moral of the story is cherish the positive male figures in your life, both past and/or present. Celebrate Fatherand#8217;s Day with cake and ice cream and someone you love, but only if you feel so inclined. It can have a very personal meaning, so for now perhaps a and#8220;just the factsand#8221; approach to teaching little Joey about the holiday will suffice. After all, he may become a celebrated someone 20 years from now and he will thank you for having always made it a happy day.

and#8212; If you have a parenting puzzler for Mama Mia at the KidZone Museum in Truckee e-mail or call 587-KIDS.

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