What dad really wants

Fathers are blessed at all the Masses at Saint Bernard’s on Father’s Day.

I recently received an e-mail with the subject: “Gifts Dad Really Wants”. It was an advertisement that promoted buying dad the following: grill accessories, hair trimmers, car wax, and a novelty mug that reads “If Daddy can’t fix it, nobody can.”

These are not that distant from the traditional gifts of Father’s Days of decades ago: a tie, slippers, cigarette lighter and tobacco products that were highly marketed for the occasion.

But are these the things dads REALLY want? I asked some dads about what they would like for Father’s Day and here’s what they said:

  • As a Dad, I would like time with the family. No video games, no phones no distractions but the sounds of waves crashing, birds singing and the wind whispering through the forest. Holding hands with my wife and being together. No stuff, family.
  • Dad wants to love and be loved. A kiss, a hug, a kind word, and five minutes of peace on Father’s day, or any day, will let him know that “he’s the man” and put him in a better position to love his family the way he should.
  • I want my wife and kids to know that what I do, I do for them. Work is work, long hours and stress are what life is sometimes. The reward is the happiness that I can bring to my family. Knowing that I have provided for their needs above and hopefully beyond what they expect. Their happiness is my happiness.
  • As a dad I want to know that my children are at peace in their lives. I want them to know that though I cannot help them in all their needs, I am always available to help them help themselves. I want my own peace knowing that, when I am gone, they are prepared for handling the everyday worries of the world via faith in God and having the inner tools and strength to do what is right. Most of all, I want my children to find joy in this world and know there is great peace and joy in each other and in our journey beyond.
  • I want to know that I’ve been the best example to my boys not only by words but also by deeds. For my wife, I want to know that I’m everything I can be as a husband for her.
  • I really want more time with my family. I don’t really care about stuff.
  • I just want to make sure that my kids grow up, are safe, and are good people — and are able to get jobs they like that can sustain them.
  • I want our children to be healthy, happy and pursuing their passions. Material wealth is great, and does enable one to do so many things for the greater good, but I always want to be grounded in my spirituality and nurture my relationship with God so that my marriage can flourish and be a sign of Gods love to our kids and to the world.
  • I’d like a day with all my family where everyone gets along and there’s no stress
  • I would children to treat each other with kindness. It sounds very simple, but I have seen so much this year between my kids and how others have treated them at school. I just wish people treated each other the way Jesus would.

I can see two types of dad desires: (a) A hope that their children are happy and will turn out OK and (b) That their fatherhood has been meaningful. No amount of car wax will assure dad of this. So be this father’s day creative in showing your dad how much he has meant to you.

And give grill accessories. Definitely grill accessories.



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Pastor of St. Bernard's since 2013 and known for his engaging homilies and community presence, Father Ralph Sommer is also a treasured columnist for the Levittown Tribune.


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