First and foremost, I want to wish all fathers out there a Happy Father's Day. There is something special about the time spent between a father and their children that goes far beyond what is seen on the surface.
Now, I am not discounting mothers in any way because everyone knows that Moms are the best, but dads are a different kind of deal. When you are sick or tired or even scared you always want your mommy, but dads are the ones who teach us the real stuff like mud and grease and grass stains!
Most of us have learned what we know about the outdoors because of a father. It doesn't even have to be our own father. Again, I am not trying to slight mothers in the least, but fathers are almost always the root of the love of the outdoors in little boys and little girls.
There are plenty of moms out there who hunt, fish and just enjoy the outdoors, but I am willing to bet those moms got their love of the outdoors from dads who loved the outdoors. It is a vicious cycle, but a special one that I don't think any of us would change.
Father's Day isn't filled with flowers and candy and pretty dresses. Often it is a day spent on the lake or even out by the grill. Fathers are a much simpler taste for a happy day. There isn't a need for fancy things or big meals.
Most dads are happy just being dads and doing what dads do. Get a gift card to one of the big box outdoor stores and you have got Father's Day in the bag. A new fishing rod, camo anything or even a singing, talking, dancing fish to hang on the wall and the day is complete.
If you want to really go over the top and make that outdoor dad's day, gather up the whole family and spend it outdoors. Yes, it might end up being a little work for dear 'ole dad, but he won't mind. It isn't that big of a chore to load up the boat, kayaks or the fishing gear. It is much like raising kids, it is a true labor of love.
What better way to show the one who taught you how to hunt and fish than to say, "Hey Dad, let's go fishing." Even us grown up kids can treat our dads to a day out in the great outdoors. Speaking from experience, there is nothing better than when you get multiple generations together sharing the passion that has been passed down.
I fondly remember many days, and even a few Father's days, spent wading the streams and casting a line with my dad and granddad. As I get older and spend time enjoying many of those same types of days with my kids, I understand the many times I noticed them just standing around in knee deep water just watching and not fishing as urgently as I was. As the song lyric goes, "I thought we were just fishing". It wasn't just fishing to them, and it isn't just fishing to me now.
That is what makes being a father so special. It doesn't even take Father's Day to enjoy it. Maybe I personally feel a little guilty celebrating a day dedicated to dads. Especially those of us who get to spend time in the wilds with our sons and daughters. Father's Day isn't just a Sunday in June for us, it is every day and every trip we take and see the spark in a child's eye when they land a fish or make that perfect shot on a trophy grey squirrel.
Heck, it doesn't even have to be our flesh and blood to make us proud to share that moment with them. It is just the fact of being there and knowing that you were even a small part in starting a fire that will burn in them for years to come is reward enough. Who needs a special day dedicated to it? It is that moment that you know what Father's Day is really about.
Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there and Happy Father's Day to those moms who sometimes have to play double duty for whatever reason. Enjoy this day dedicated to the celebration of the parental duties, but don't lose sight that the blessings of parenthood have nothing to do with a day on the calendar and the rewards aren't on a gift card or come in a box. They surround us each and every day and the gifts are the smiling faces or melodious voices we see and hear every day!
Roger Wolfe is an avid outdoorsman and has spent most of his life hunting and fishing and writes a weekly outdoors column for HD Media. He is a resident of Chapmanville and can be reached via email at email@example.com.