If I asked Jamie what he wants for Father’s Day, I know what he’d say: “I already have everything I want.”
It’s true. He has two happy, healthy and adoring sons. He has a wife who loves and respects him, and a family that often considers him the glue that holds us all together with his humor, kindness . . . and irresistible dimples. But all the same, I wanted to do something special for him this Father’s Day—something that money can’t buy.
I’ve always thought it’s important to involve your kids as much as possible when coming up with a gift for Father’s Day—he’s their daddy after all. I can remember spending hours making my daddy a card with construction paper and crayons and he always acted like I had given him the world. I think a child’s touch means so much more than a store-bought card or a big, orchestrated event. Find fun and creative ways to get them involved and at the same time teach them how important it is to say “thank you” for all that their daddy does for them—all the time he makes and love he gives.
One of Jamie’s favorite gifts from Jack is a steppingstone we made for the garden. I helped Jack press his little hand into the mold and then he decorated it like only a child can. He’s still so proud of that stone. We’ll always cook a nice dinner for Jamie, too. He’s usually the one in the kitchen (can you blame me?) so we like to give him a night off. Jack picks the menu, sets the table and acts as my Sous Chef. The point is, we always make something.
Of course, when the kids are small, you have to be a little more creative when it comes to involving them. On Jamie’s first Father’s Day, Jack wasn’t quite a year old. That gave me plenty of time to take hundreds of pictures of the two of them together and collect them into a scrapbook. I put all this time into it and it turned out perfect—something that we’ll enjoy forever. Sometimes Jamie and I flip through it together hardly able to remember when Jack (or Jamie!) was ever that young. I like taking the time to frame photos because these days they often get left on the camera’s memory card or stuck on the computer’s hard drive. You may have a ton of photos, but what’s the point if no one sees them? So I bought Jamie a cube photo frame made of glass that he could put on his desk. If he’s having a hard day at work, he can just look at those pictures of him and the boys and know the joy that’s waiting for him when he comes home. Now that joy has doubled—and so have the number of pictures!
Jack and I really worked hard on this year’s Father’s Day gift. And even though Baby Matthew couldn’t really participate in the process, Jack figured out some ways to involve him one way or another—even if it meant tickling Matthew’s toes and making crazy faces to get him to giggle for yet another photo op. Eventually, Jack and Matthew will come up with a plan for Father’s Day all on their own. They’ll make him a breakfast o’ champions, treat him to a weekend Braves game, a fishing trip . . . .
But for now, I help my sons find thoughtful ways to tell their daddy that they love and appreciate him. And I don’t forget to say it myself. Jamie has always been a wonderful husband, but seeing him be a daddy to our boys fills my heart with more joy than I could ever imagine.