Dad’s Deserve a Special Day (with Tea!)

Fathers are pretty special people. So, a bit of doting and some very special teas are certainly in order on their special day of the year – Father’s Day! And what better way than with a special Father’s Day Tea Time.

Doting on Dad on Father’s Day with Tea

Fathers are surely special, whether they are our natural or adoptive parent. We don’t always appreciate this when growing up, as so this special day of the year is a time to stop, look back with more realistic vision, and say a big thanks for the good things he’s done.

For the Baby Boomer generation, many of our fathers grew up during what we now call the Great Depression and really did walk through snow and storms to get to school (for the rural folks, it was usually the one-room style) and back home — it wasn’t just a story to tell us so we would appreciate “how good we had it.” They also learned the value of hard work and how to be true to their family. To do this they often worked not only a full-time physically laborious job but two equally strenuous part-time jobs to keep food on the table and a roof over their family’s heads.

Later generations had things a bit more comfortable, especially with advances in technology that made life more comfortable. These days things have gotten a bit stressed once more, with many fathers (and mothers) working to make ends meet and keep the lights on (literally).

Time to lay out a table for thes dads (as we did for moms in this article) to generally acknowledge their “dadness,” with some dad-like tea such as a strong black Ceylon or Assam accompanied by some hearty treats. But what is “dadness”? Good question.

Around the world and through the ages, the role of dads in the lives of their children has varied a lot. From mere biology to hunter/protector to stern guider of young minds thru adulthood to more companionable roles, fathers have been there. In some countries, fathers maintain what many consider to be the strictly “male” portion of the parenting tasks, that is, they go out and work and support the family, then come home and set and enforce the rules of the house. In other countries, the lines between which parent performs which parental role have blurred a lot, where dad is just as likely to change diapers or drive the kids to sports practice as mom is.

Things dads do (click each photo to see details – if no details showing, please let me know since WordPress is dropping them, usually off of last image in each group):

Despite these differences, there are some key similarities. Dads everywhere have a special place in their hearts for their children. Seeing a father with his child sleeping in his lap or eating at the local fast food joint and seeing a dad lovingly leading his child by the hand to the restroom are always cherished sights.

During the past Mother’s Day some people tried to include fathers in the mix, claiming that because many of them do a lot for their children that they should be called “mothers” instead of “fathers.” Yes, many fathers do as much for their children as most mothers do. But they are still fathers. Also, having a day to celebrate fathers and a day to celebrate mothers in no way denigrates either, but merely gives each their turn. Nor does it enforce a role or stereotype. Fathers can be just as loving and caring as mothers, especially if they are the only parent in the household.

However you see it, celebrate your dad’s “dadness” with a great tea time! Whether sports (golf, baseball, etc.), a car mechanic or even a writer or computer programmer, pick the right theme to suit your dad. Dads like all kinds of teas, too, and don’t forget to pile on the goodies. My dad loved hamburgers and potato salad (I can see his smiling face even now whenever I have that combo). Find out what your dad’s fave foods are and serve them up in ample amounts. The main thing is to take the time to show your dad how special he is. Enjoy!

Special Memory of Dad — The Summer Job

Father’s Day always brings up special memories for many of us whose dads have moved on beyond this life. One such memory for me was a job I had in that Summer after my first year at university.

Tea_Blog_Summer-Job004Many of us get Summer jobs to earn some extra money and get a bit of hands-on experience. Where I grew up, most of those jobs were in the surrounding corn fields where seed corn was grown. Every Summer, swarms of Summer hires (usually high school and college students) would go through the fields pulling pollen-laden tassels off of every other row or so. This kept down the amount of cross-pollination and assured a better type of corn seed. I had every intention of earning some extra funds for my education by being one of the workers in those fields. But that year the seed corn growers had switched from hiring local short-term workers and used migrant workers instead. What to do?

My father stepped in with a solution: he brought home and had me fill out an application at the factory where he’d worked for years, supporting us all. I got the job (was actually one of a bunch of Summer hires) and was required to join the union there. This was one of the best experiences of my life (except for the forced paying of union dues, which would have gone instead to my education fund).

Working in the factory was hard work. There was no air conditioning, so temps got up to the 90s. The pace on the assembly line was brisk (to put it mildly). We had a quota to meet. I had something more to consider: my father’s reputation to uphold, being his daughter. If I didn’t work hard, it would reflect badly on Dad, or so I thought. Did I succeed? The assembly line I was on never failed to meet its quota and often exceeded it, so “Yes.”

The job lasted five weeks. We had met the production goals, so the Summer hires were let go. I left the job a bit richer in my bank account but more importantly in my spirit, for I had gotten to know a side of my father I had not seen at home. As much as my mother, my siblings, and I loved him and as wonderful as he was to us, we didn’t very often see how he interacted with others, especially not at work. He would usually come home exhausted, eat dinner, watch the news on TV, and fall asleep. The revelation I got while working at the factory was astounding: my father was beloved by his co-workers.

By the time of that Summer job, my father had worked his way up from a line assembly worker to Chief Electrician. He bounced all over the factory, making sure everything was humming along. Even so, every day he took time to come by and see how I was doing. Every time he arrived, all the workers around me, men and women, young and old, would cheer up. Their faces would break into big smiles and some would call out to him in greeting. While my father took his responsibility for supporting his family very seriously, he never lost his humor and warmth. It’s one thing for family to see this. It’s even better when others see it, too.

That Summer I shared a part of my father that my siblings never had a chance to see, that warmth and goodwill he radiated to those outside his family. It left an indelible impression. As I pour another cup of Irish Breakfast tea, the memory comes back as warm and comforting as each sip of that wonderful tea. I raise my cup in a toast. Here’s to you, Dad!

May all you fathers out there have a most TEArrific Father’s Day and a big thanks for all you do.

© 2016-2020 A.C. Cargill photos and text

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