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Paul Sassone: Need a Father’s Day gift? How about you?

Paul Sassone

Coming as it does a month after Mother’s Day, Father’s Day can seem an afterthought.

Traditionally, nurturing has been the province of mothers. Fathers went to work and earned the family’s daily bread.

But times, and roles, have changed.

In today’s family both parents work — if they are lucky enough to have jobs.

They have to work.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest figures (2012) on what it costs to raise a family are eye-popping. A middle-income married couple with two children spend $12,600 to $14,700 on each child per year.

So, in today’s family mom and dad are dancing as fast as they can, each contributing money, time and nurture. They share everything when it comes to parenting.

So, Father’s Day can’t, and shouldn’t, be an afterthought.

But just how do you say thanks to dad?

You can’t buy him flowers and candy. Roles haven’t changed that much.

You could take him out to dinner. Or, you could crank up the grill, cook burgers and brats and — heaven help him — watch a Cubs or Sox game. But then dad would take over and tell you how you are cooking the burgers all wrong.

Here’s a thought: Since mothers and fathers are partners in parenting, perhaps the best gift for dad is what was the best gift for mom:

Yourself.

Though he might not say it, your dad would like to see you more, talk to you more, be with you more.

He might like to have someone with whom to watch that ball game.

So, let him do the grilling if he insists.

Naturally, for all that he has done for you, means to you, you’ll want to give him an actual gift, too.

Meat or Westerns, I’d say.

And, next time he launches into a lecture on what’s wrong with the world, you should look him straight in the eye and say, “You’re absolutely right, Dad.”

He’d like that.

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