Making A Pitch For A Parent’s Day

Father’s Day is coming up and I’m sorry, but I can’t write a column about it. You see, I didn’t do a Mother’s Day column, and it would be a little lopsided to do one for Dad.

Kidding. And good grief – guilt is such an uncomfortable emotion, don’t you think? And that is what this column should be about. Not about feeling guilty, but about why some of us feel guilty when it comes to an acknowledgment of love that should be both natural and authentic.

And there it is. It’s the authenticity of the emotion that I feel is hijacked by the behemoth of hype and com-mercialization surrounding both these days.

The author's parents, Joyce and Harold | Jade Moon photo

Now, there are at least a couple of ways to look at this. One is to dismiss these days as crass commercial ripoffs that foster guilt and unnatural behavior. Didn’t buy Mom a gift? Guilt. Didn’t make dinner or brunch reservations in time? Guilt. Didn’t at least send a card? Oh, you’re in guilt hell now.

So what to do? Run to Foodland and grab a lei, a box of candy and whatever else you can get your hands on at the last minute. Or run to a florist and pay three times the regular price for whatever’s left over from the rush.

Or you can look at it another way. You don’t see Mom and Dad as often as you’d like. Your busy life puts a cramp in your ability to visit or call, but you do whenever you can. And Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are the perfect opportunities to show your appreciation – days conveniently labeled (and hyped) so you remember. You really don’t mind spending a little (or a lot) of money for a gift, a dinner or a card. It’s the least you can do for everything they have done and continue to do for you. And it’s cool that almost everyone you know is celebrating at the same time.

I absolutely relate to both points of view. Call me wishy-washy, I can’t help it. I am quite aware we are being collectively sucked into the giant whirling commercial abyss. I also agree with those folks who say every day should be Mother’s or Father’s day, and that saving up all your tokens of appreciation for those two days seems wrong and lazy.

But why not reserve special days for the most important people in our lives? Why not buy flowers? Why not treat your parents to a meal? And so what if every one else is doing it at the same time? They’re your parents, for goodness sake.

I said at the start of this column I was not writing a Father’s Day column. I’m not. This is my valentine to two people who gave me life and raised us and gave us everything they had to keep us safe and loved. And they are still doing it – they give and give and give, and expect so little in return.

So happy Mom and Dad Day. Guilt has nothing to do with why I want to thank you for everything you have done. I love you both.