Tiffany Gee Lewis: Beyond the Father’s Day card

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Tiffany Lewis writes that today’s fathers who spend time actively taking care of their children don’t fit the stereotypes often perpetuated.

I was at the store the other day hunting for a Father’s Day card.

I kept coming up short. According to Hallmark and the rest of the greeting card contingent, dads come in only four categories: grill masters, sports fanatics, golf aficionados or anglers.

The problem is, my dad doesn’t fit into any of these categories.

In fact, many of the father and husband figures in my life can’t be boxed into such limited stereotypes. Sure, they might watch the occasional football game, but they can’t be constrained by fishing poles and grilling tools.

Looking at the cards, one would think we are still firmly in the 1950s, where the distant, authoritative father figure is defined by what he does instead of who he is.

The fathers of today, the ones I admire, are thoughtful, sensitive and good communicators. They are on the ground, in the trenches (dispelling another Father’s Day card trope, the one that begins with “Dad, I know we never talked much.”)

They are on the floor changing diapers. They’ve got a toddler on their hip in the foyer at church. They have spaghetti up to their elbows because they are parked in front of that high chair.

They jump on the trampoline with the kids. They sit by their son into the wee hours, coaching him through long division.

When I look at the dads of today, I have great hope…

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