A non traditional Father’s Day tribute to honor father figures. Father’s Day is quickly becoming one of my favorite holidays. For much of my life, Father’s Day was just another Sunday in June.
A Non Traditional Father’s Day Tribute
Like many people, I spent a great deal of my youth without a father in my life. My parents divorced when I was two years old and I’ve never had very much contact with my dad. Since I was so young, it really wasn’t a big deal to me. Things happen, the cards get dealt a certain way, and you live with it. When my grandmother passed away at the age of 95, I began to think about the role she had in my life and I realized that she, and others in my life stepped in to be a father figure in my life whether they, or I, knew it or not.
My grandmother stepped into my mother’s difficult situation when I was two and provided a world of support for myself and my older sister. She would pick us up from elementary school, take us on errands and make sure we were well-cared for while my mom worked her tail off to provide for us. She would even attend many school functions I had in my mom’s place.
My mom also was a pillar of strength. We didn’t have a lot of money but we never went without. After long days at her job, she would truck me to my soccer practices and always made sure she packed our school lunches for the next day. When I was ten she gave me the nicest BMX bike I had ever seen. I was naive to it then but recently I brought the bike up in conversation and asked her point-blank “how the heck could you even afford it back then?” She told me she used her tax return check. I can only now imagine how tough life must have been for her back then. The ten-year old me was blissfully unaware of the struggles she surely endured.
My sister is 5 years older than I am and she had to grow up a lot quicker than she probably wanted to. It was her responsibility to make sure I got home from school OK and to make sure I stayed out of trouble until my mom got home from work. Looking back now, I’m positive she missed out on quite a bit of her own childhood because of the responsibility of taking care of me until mom came home. Again, I was blissfully unaware of her sacrifices.
Sometimes you have to look a little further than the family tree to find father figure influences for a non traditional Father’s Day tribute. Mine was next door to me when I was growing up. I was lucky enough to live next to a gregarious, athletic kid named Scott who was 5 years older than me. He was the hero of the neighborhood and dominated every sport he played in junior high and high school. Like the rest of the block, I idolized this kid. Even though the age difference was huge, he really helped me out. He taught me everything there was to know about football, baseball, soccer, you name it. More than just having a little kid next door to use as a tackling dummy, he always looked out for me. He made sure I was on his team no matter what when choosing up sides and he really relished his role as a mentor to me.
I never had too much time to feel sorry for myself growing up without a father. I was too busy spending time with the people in my world back then who stepped in to make sure I was on the right path (whether they knew it or not). Father’s Day can be difficult for a child growing up in a non-traditional family. This tribute is to honor father figures from my life that have truly made a difference. Hallmark doesn’t make a A Non Traditional Father’s Day Tribute card for grandmas, single moms, sisters or athletic next door neighbors. Maybe they should.
Do you have a A Non Traditional Father’s Day Tribute to share?