|A Father's Day Gift for the Dad Who Has Everything|
|Wednesday, 05 June 2013 00:00 | Written by Tonya Kay | Blog Entry|
At a certain point, parents have lived so many years on this Earth that there is no possession imaginable they might still need. This is a daughter's authentic, if not childish, perception of her father, at least. Wanting terribly to impress dad with a grand display of Father's Day gifting that says, "You're my favorite dad! (I'm your favorite daughter, too, right?)", visions of a garage full of tools, a basement packed with memorabilia, closets stuffed with clothing, shelves hosting knickknacks-a-plenty ultimately thwart the urge. Maybe, it seems to the daughter, there comes a time when parents just don't need more stuff.
She can hear her mom now: "Where are we going to put this?" Perhaps next to the home's fourth TV, rarely watched in the laundry room? Maybe it would look good adjacent to the "conversation piece" collecting dust hung behind the bathroom door? The idea of sending another bouquet of stargazer lilies seems predictable and unimaginative compared to the sentiment in this daughter's heart. If only she wasn't on a budget (like the rest of the working-class nation) and could gift the only item no father would turn up a nose to—a new car! But the Price Ain't Right. Let that not be a reflection upon her feelings for dear old dad.
While I'm waiting for that next big gig to come through when I will buy back dad's classic GTO and wrap it in a bow with chocolate sprinkles on top, I've found a way to use my creativity to reinforce pop’s view that I am his favorite daughter ever. Some dads get new ball caps, some dads get cologne, my dad is getting a nest of baby sea turtles! C'mon, how can anyone scoff at baby sea turtles? Dad has already called to thank me. He gets it. And I know he gets the deeper meaning behind the gift, too.
When parents have children, I see it as a sort of symbol of the desire to connect to something that will outlive their individual lives. They put a little of their life into a new one and we, as the children, live on and carry them on. I've personally decided not to have children, but that does not mean I don't have the urge to parent in different ways. I parent through conversation and community building. I parent through gardening and environment enrichment. I parent through writing and media. I parent ideas, art and activism—all of which will outlive me, too. These things are the grandchildren I give my father.
When I discovered that the Sea Turtle Restoration Project (STRP) offered a way to adopt a nest of baby sea turtles in a loved one's name, I knew this was the unique gift I wanted to offer my father. All seven species of sea turtle are endangered globally. The STRP is everywhere these at-risk species need protection: the Gulf of Mexico, the California coastline, the reefs of Australia and the islands off Costa Rica. My dad represents the protective force to me and it gives me creative and compassionate joy to imagine this gift helping protect even one baby sea turtle in my dad's name—his life, in symbol, protecting my parented children. Please, Universe, let even one baby sea turtle beat the odds and live to maturity to reproduce because of my demonstrated love for my dad through this Father's Day gift.
I think my dad gets it, too. No, I know he gets it. As unique and unpredictable as I am, dad gets me, and so I know, when he receives this gift, he will know what love he's inspired in this world. And he’ll be happy not to have to dust around another strange truck-stop statue that says “I Love You” in all the cursive colored blown glass a shelf can hold. Happy Father's Day, dad. I love you.
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