I can vividly remember my very first Father’s Day down to the date that it fell on — June 19, 2005 — my birthday! It was a very special day spent with some very special people, but not the people you might expect.
My first Father’s Day I was doing what I did every day for the few weeks before that: visiting my daughter in the hospital. She was born 14 weeks early and was in the NICU. The special people that really made that Father’s day memorable were the nurses and the staff in the NICU. I remember coming to visit, and they had her isolette all decorated and took a picture of her and made a card for me. (An isolette is the bed that kept her warm and quiet because she was so fragile at the time.) That is a moment I will always cherish. Not only did they take exceptional care of my little 1-pound baby, but they took care of us as parents.
Seven years later, the hospital is not part of our Father’s Day celebration. Still like many fathers out there, we have a tradition. For us, Father’s Day is spent at Comerica Park watching a Tigers game. Considering it’s a Sunday, the kids get to run the bases after the game. It’s a treat for the dads as well! Getting to run on a Major League Baseball field is pretty cool. Running the bases while holding hands with my favorite little one is priceless.
As she gets older, I don’t have to hold her hand any longer which makes me so very proud. My first Father’s Day she was not even 2 pounds and struggling every day. And now she is running the bases full speed!
I’m sure every father has a story to tell about how they spend their day, but for me it’s not about being celebrated as being a dad, but celebrating the girl who makes it so special.
What Father’s Day traditions do you have?
—Jason Pyciak, Parenting Program Volunteer