Our Father Who Art The One Who Pays For Our Collect Calls

June 11, 2008 by  
Filed under Family LIfe

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I wanted to write something for Father’s Day that would encourage Dad’s and cause all of us to reflect more thankfully on the efforts of our own fathers. I started by looking for a wonderful ‘Hallmark-type’ quote that would set the tone. In the process I found that many of the things I wanted to say have already been said, and said well. Which is easy to understand since the first Father’s Day celebration reportedly happened ninety-eight years ago on July 5,1908.

The story goes that in West Virginia only two months prior to this event the first Mother’s Day had been celebrated. In the previous December a nearby mine explosion had taken the lives of 361 men, many of them fathers.  A lady named Grace Golden Clayton inspired by either or both of these events, suggested that a special service should be held to honor fathers.

The first “June” Father’s Day was celebrated on June 19, 1910 in Spokane Washington. Mrs. Sonora Smart Dodd was the driving force behind the celebration. She was inspired by Anna Jarvis’s efforts in establishing Mother’s Day and wanted to honor her father who had reared her and her five siblings as a single dad.

Since the first Father’s Day celebrations, a lot has been written about fatherhood. So I thought it appropriate to merely share some of what has already been said, humorous and inspirational.

“A father is a guy who has pictures in his wallet where his money used to be.” (Unknown)

“Any man can be a Father but it takes someone special to be a dad.” (Anne Geddes)

“When I was a kid, I said to my father one afternoon, ‘Daddy, will you take me to the zoo?’ He answered, ‘If the zoo wants you, let them come and get you.’” (Jerry Lewis)

“A man’s children and his garden both reflect the amount of weeding done during the growing season”. (Unknown)

“There are three stages of a man’s life:  He believes in Santa Claus, he doesn’t believe in Santa Claus, he is Santa Claus.” (Unknown)

“When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around.  But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.” (Mark Twain)

“A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty.” (Unknown)

“A new father quickly learns that his child invariably comes to the bathroom at precisely the times when he’s in there, as if he needed company. The only way for this father to be certain of bathroom privacy is to shave at the gas station.” (Bill Cosby)

“There’s something like a line of gold thread running through a man’s words when he talks to his daughter, and gradually over the years it gets to be long enough for you to pick up in your hands and weave into a cloth that feels like love itself.” (John Gregory Brown)

“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.” (Jim Valvano)

“One night a father heard his son pray: Dear God, Make me the kind of man my Daddy is. Later that night, the Father prayed, Dear God, Make me the kind of man my son wants to be.” (Unknown)

And one last quote…

“A young boy’s definition of Father’s Day: It’s just like Mother’s Day only you don’t spend so much.” (Unknown)

According to snopes.com, before the current communications revolution, in one given year 83 million calls were made on Father’s Day and 106 million were made on Mother’s Day. However 27% more of the Father’s Day calls were collect.

Mother’s Day came first and it apparently still does, but we should all be thankful for Grace Clayton and Mrs. Dodd who believed that fathers should be honored.

In closing, I would add that perhaps everything about fatherhood has already been said but the words of love and appreciation that need to be said to our fathers can never all be said.  In every father/child relationship it is often the smallest things that we do and say that mean the most and linger the longest. Those things don’t take long and don’t cost much, especially if you make the call collect.


If you have any wonderful stories to add to this blog about what makes your father a great dad, please share them to inspire and encourage others.

(RICK OSBORNE / Christian Author, Speaker & Dad – your source for Christian Parenting advice)