Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Making of a Father's Day Message

This year, my parents' shul created a Father's Day book to honor the dads that belong there. My mom brought this to our attention and my brothers and I decided, what the heck, he was worthy of an ad (a full page one, no less!)

Here's how we arrived at what we did...

I kicked off the creative process with this Halmarkesque entry (which, I was pretty proud of my self for, thank you very much):

Dad -

Remember that feeling you got on the lake when
   you caught the big one.
And someone was there to verify it.
And they even had a camera.
And it had film in it.

Well, that's the kind of feeling we have when we think about how
lucky we are that you're our dad.

<insert big list of names>

Josh and Dave thought the message was too ... well, too something. Whatever it was, it wasn't clear.

Josh suggested we be more straightforward about this whole thing. David jumped on that idea and made some really helpful suggestions. I like his ideas to include the fact that our dad taught us some key lessons like:

  • How to make and use spitballs for maximum effectiveness
  • To appreciate good whiskey and scotch, not to mention beer and a nice thick steak
  • That we can and should do what we love, and kick butt at it

Dave also summed it up well: "for the good advice, the bad habits... and for showing us the importance of loving what we do and who we are"

At one point, when we couldn't decide on the details of the message, I offered up the pithy version:

Dad -

You done good.

<insert big list of names>

That went over like a lead balloon.

I even proposed this schmaltzy one:

Dad -

We are all thankful that you didn't leave us on the 
side of the road during those 13 hour car trips when 
we sat in the back and made too much noise.

We are thankful that you took us camping, fishing, 
coached our soccer teams and taught us to love and embrace life.

We are thankful that you set an example we could all aspire to.

Mostly we are thankful that you're ours.

In the end, it took a bunch more wordsmithing, and most importantly input from our wives to come up with our final version. Which was:

Dad -

Here are some of your greatest accomplishments:

Spending thirteen hours in the car listening to us play G.I. Joe,
Coaching soccer even when you knew we weren't going to win,
Raising three Eagle Scouts and spending long hours on 
   the trail with us,
Teaching us what good choices are all about and helping us 
   with our difficult ones.
Thanks for being the best father, father-in-law, and grandpa we 
could ever wish for.
Happy Birthday!!!!  Happy Fathers Day!!!!

Ben & Shira,
Josh, Iris, Madelyn and Ethan

All this is really to say, Dad - Happy Father's day - you rock! Whether you realize it or not you are a terrific Dad.


  1. just for the record, i would never say "kick butt" maybe i said kick ass. Kick butt just seems so, well, dorky. I assume i was being paraphrased, because i'd hate to have to sue for you for defamation of character. Oh, and happy father's day to josh too.

  2. Totally my bad Dave - I was trying to paraphrase. It's fixed...

    Come to think of it, you wouldn't say: "Kick Butt" - would you?