Father’s Day this year won’t be like any Father’s Day that’s come before. Social distancing alone means that there won’t be big family gatherings or baseball games. That doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate and support our fathers!
There is nothing like the bond between a father and his children, it’s deep and it’s formative for kids. Strong relationships with parents are a huge part of the healthy development of kids. For fencers, those strong relationships help them to keep going even when times are tough and training seems almost impossible. We cannot thank our dads enough for what they give us!
Dads are in the details
With everyone at home, there are all kinds of new things that need to be figured out and taken care of for fencing training and school to continue. Dads really stepped up to the plate and made things happen that we all needed!
All the Zooms and online classes have meant that the computers and the wifi have been going into overdrive. Dads have stepped in to figure these things out and keep everyone virtually connected, which has been no small endeavor.
Fencing dads have turned into armorers! With all of these millions of touches on the targets via zoom, weapons are getting more abuse than they did in the club. Fencing weapons did not magically become unbreakable because fencers are at home, but coaches cannot make house calls to fix them either. Dad to the rescue to replace snapped blades! Dads are also out there making home fencing targets so that fencers can practice and keep those skills honed and ready.
Some dads are even becoming sparring partners for their kids! I know one dad who bought a jacket, weapon, mask, and glove to be the partner for their child to practice their parries with. Even better, the coach gave private lessons to a child with his/her dad doing what the coach told to let their child practice.
Balancing is a big part of this. Most of the time, moms are the ones who are doing more of the lifting in taking care of the kids at home. Now suddenly dads have started playing a bigger daily active role in helping with the kids. Those millions of details, dads are digging in!
Hard times require brave fathers
Dads serve as a rock in our lives. They provide a constant seat of love and stability for their kids, especially during times of crisis.
We’ve been in a time of crisis for months now. It’s gone on for so long that we might not even remember what it was like to not be in crisis. The running joke about 2020 being like something out of a dystopian novel, well that’s a joke but it feels real as things keep on happening. Not just for adults either.
Kids haven been affected down to their daily routine. The whole of their lives has been turned upside down, in ways that they never could have imagined. It’s an earthquake, and it’s one that keeps on quaking. If we have learned anything from the last six months, it’s that most of the things that we thought would never change can actually change. They can change in an instant.
Something that doesn’t change though is a father’s love for his kids. It’s a constant. Fathers right now are stepping up to console their kids, to help them plan for the future, to let them know that it will all be ok. Meanwhile, we know that dads are making their own plans and juggling stresses of jobs and pandemic life. During quarantine, dads have stepped up to do even more as kids are homeschooling and families are negotiating being at home together.
Keeping a brave face in the avalanche of what is going on, adapting to the constant changes, this is what our fathers have done so beautifully in the last few months. We see you fathers! Know that you are important and you are valued. We know that you are tough, but we know that this time has been so much harder than you will ever let on. Yet you have still stood tall for your families. You set a high standard that we are so thankful for.
How to appreciate fencing dads on this Father’s Day
The first thing is, while this is a special day for dads, we want and need our appreciation of them to go well past the one day a year!
We get so caught up in doing lots and lots of things for our kids that sometimes we forget that dad is there chugging along and being the foundation. Fathers are people too! With their own lived experiences that make them who they are. This is a great time for you to remember that your dad is someone too, and to go ask him for life advice or to tell you family stories. Pulling out family photos or going somewhere like a park that you have good memories, these can help everyone to feel more normal and grounded. Taking some time to look back at your fencing work with dad, to reflect on what your fencing journey has been so far, that can be very meaningful and also help get you all excited. Dad will appreciate it too!
Staying strong during the last few months has taken a toll on everyone. Though dads don’t always show it, they are feeling the pressure of the turmoil that we are all living.
- Ask dad to help you run your fencing drills
- Ask dad to play a board game
- Get outside for frisbee or soccer
- Write a note thanking dad for keeping you fencing
- Make dad’s favorite pizza
- Decorate a cake for dad, or maybe make some milkshakes
- Practice your fencing without being asked
- Clean something in your house
- Ask dad to tell you stories about when he was younger
It truly is the thought that counts, especially in these times. You don’t need to buy your dad a tie or a special coffee mug! More than anything, what dads want to know is that they are making a positive impact on the lives of their children. Doing something nice for dad is the important thing. It doesn’t have to be a big something! Sometimes the smallest things can carry the biggest good feelings.
When the world has gone crazy, dads want to feel like they’re doing the right thing! So this Father’s Day, we ask that you tell them so.