Father's Day has changed with the passage of time, because by and large fathers have changed. An increasing number of dads are becoming more involved in the raising of their offspring than their fathers were when these new dads were children.
Some dads are staying home with the kids while moms are out working. Some others are sharing more of the workload at home because their wives are also sharing the burden of paying the bills.
A couple of generations ago, the Man of the House went out to work 40 hours or so a week, then came home and read the paper. At least, my dad did. I often thought that upright newspaper was more than just reading material. It seemed also to be a protective barrier between us and him.
Daddy has worked hard all day, don't bother him. His home is his castle. And so on.
I could do another whole article on the faulty information and implications of that. But that's for another time.
Modern-day dads seem not to be satisfied with fortification away from the children behind the wall of a newspaper, radio or television. Bless 'em for it.
I love seeing fathers playing with their children ... and cleaning up after their children too.
I know one dad who takes his infant daughter to swim lessons once a week, after he gets home from work.
I know another who doesn't hesitate to spend a Saturday taking over the care, feeding, watering and tidying up after of his toddler.
I know a man who used to help dress his small children on a regular basis, and who will be forever remembered for shaking them into their leotards like they were sacks of potatoes. Three little girls stood in line waiting their turn for this delightful ride.
To be fair, old-fashioned dads were not always in ivory towers. There have always been some earnest souls who have devoted their evenings and weekends to coaching teams of children, sometimes their own and sometimes the town's.
And some fathers who weren't so great at doing things with their progeny on a regular basis live on in family lore because every once in awhile they joined the gang.
My dad would occasionally take me and my brothers for a long walk.