What dads really want on Father's Day

Greeting card manufacturers won’t be happy.

Area residents have ideas beyond opening a card as to what represents the ideal Father’s Day.

Mahomet’s Ben Taylor views the day as a double win-win.

“I get to celebrate with my dad and my own kids,” Taylor said, “and be that middle generation.”

He has a much better understanding of the day than he did during his youth.

“You don’t think about the things they sacrificed until you’re out of college,” Taylor said.

“My perfect Father’s day is spending time with my family and having a good time,” Mahomet’s Jim Jeffers said.

Brooks Marsh would take a replica of that order.

“It’s pretty simple,” Marsh said. “The perfect Father’s Day would be to be in the backyard by the pool, with my wife and kids, my son barbecuing and me doing nothing but enjoying it.”

His views on the day — as well as his priorities — have changed as he has aged.

“When you’re first in your career, you work all the time to provide for family,” Marsh said. “What you find, as you get older, is that it’s important to spend time and enjoy your family.”

Mahomet’s Jeff Courson likes to see traditions maintained, even if they don’t seem important at the time.

“You look at things much differently as you look back to the generation when you grew up,” Courson said. “They (children) look to you now as you did at the time to your parents and grandparents. When you’re younger, you’re the end (of the next generation). Now you see where you fit in.”

Courson’s Father’s Day tradition is to “spend it with my family,” he said.

He is appreciative that he doesn’t need to set aside a day for that to happen.

“I’m fortunate,” Courson said. “My family is close.”

In retrospect, he recognizes a tradition he cherished as a youngster.

“As a kid, family reunions were some of the fondest memories I have,” Courson said. “Kids now miss that. People don’t get together like they did.”

State Farm Insurance agent Darwyn Boston finds with each passing year, the day — and the thought — mean a bit more.

“As they grow and quality time with the kids gets harder and harder, I look forward to it more and more,” Boston said. “When they were young, it was just another day. Now that they are teens, it’s more important.”

He grew up in a home with four siblings where only one of the two spring ‘days’ were emphasized.

“Mother’s Day was a special day and we made mom feel special on her day, but my dad said (Father’s Day) was just another day,” Boston said.

As for his wish list, his request sounds similar to others.

“Without prodding from anyone else, spending the day with my kids, maybe watching them play a baseball game,” Boston said.

For Mahomet’s Andy Pruitt, the day’s tradition is not one specific thing.

“Whether we went fishing, or did something else, we took the day and did whatever Dad wanted,” Pruitt said. “For me (as a parent of children who are 12, 9 and 5), it means a day to spend with the kids, enjoy family life and relax. You shouldn’t take life for granted.

“Kids grow up so fast. I want to spend time with them because one of these days, they won’t be around.”

Link Woodward — who works at Mahomet Ace Hardware — found Father’s Day to be more meaningful upon becoming a parent.

“They mean more after you have kids,” Woodward said. “As a kid, you take your parents for granted.

“Fatherhood has a different meaning. It’s more important.”

As for what would make the day complete, Woodward said there’s not just one item on his list.

“Being with my wife and kids, relaxation, a day off and a really good meal,” Woodward said.

No matter the ages of the children, Bellflower’s Merle Coffin said, “I like to have all my young-uns together.”

The conclusion is clear: Family time trumps receiving a card.

 

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