Fatherly's Guide to Father's Day

On December 6, 1907, 366 men working in Fairmont Coal Company mines in the hills of West Virginia died in an explosion. More than 1,000 children in the Fairmont community lost their fathers that day and a solemn service at the church became an explicit celebration of the roles and responsibilities of dads everywhere. What is widely considered “the worst mining disaster in American History” led to what some consider to be the first Father’s Day celebration, a full 65 years before it became an official holiday.

More than a century later, we are still celebrating the roles of fathers, even if they look radically different than what they did then. What does it mean to be a dad in the 21st century? It means keeping kids safe and helping to shepherd them on to a happy, healthy independence; being both reliable and ridiculous, because sometimes ridiculousness is what’s needed. Dads are more involved than ever in the nitty-gritty of parenting — but they’re also finding new ways to express their authentic, curious selves while still going all-in on raising great kids.

Father’s day is the celebration of a feeling, passed back and forth between kid and Dad until, if all goes well, the former delivers the latter a heartfelt eulogy. It’s a celebration of men who know themselves, who find the good, and leverage it toward raising someone who knows better than they are. In other words, it’s a celebration love. Happy Father’s Day to each and every dad out there playing their role, passing on the love.

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