Give Dad a Shout Out

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By Helen Kossler

Reading Between the Lines

Father’s Day is not as big a deal as Mother’s Day if you go by advertising and feature articles in the newspaper. I mean many children love their dad and respect him, but they just don’t talk about it.

Now is the time to remedy that.  Take a minute—literally—and talk about your dad. In front of other people. In a public library. You can do it. Honest. 

And while others are going to be listening to what you have to say, no one is going to be judging you.  At least, that’s what Michele Weldon said.  This event was her brainchild and came from a story telling event she participated in that required the speaker to tell a true story for 5 minutes.

Let me tell you, five minutes is a really, really long time. One minute is short, but it will feel long when you’re up there. But you can do it.

The story you tell has to be true but it doesn’t have to be sentimental.  It doesn’t have to be about how terrific your dad is, but it has to be honest. There will be funny stories, poignant stories, maybe even angry stories. So think about your father and what you would tell him if you only had one minute to say it in.

I talked to Weldon on the phone last week about the event.  I thought it was a terrific idea and an unusual way to acknowledge the power of fathers.  Weldon said that she hopes 30-40 people sign up on June 7 at 7 PM in the Veteran’s Room of the Main Library.

We chatted about fatherhood and she said that as a single mother, she is grateful for the support that many men in her neighborhood and in the wrestling community at the high school have provided.  That support has given her sons role models for how to father and she believes they will be wonderful parents when the time comes. 

Weldon wrote an essay in 2008 about the abandonment of sons and it is reprinted in This I Believe, a collection of essays about fatherhood.  She will be signing copies of the book on June 7 also.

If you can’t be at the library on June 7, send me (Helen@oakpark.com) a short paragraph (250 words or less) about your dad and I will post some of them on Father’s Day, which is June 19 this year.   

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