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Creating Lasting Memories for Father's Day and Beyond

A memorable Father's Day is as simple as taking some notes.

Like every year, Father’s Day is nearly upon us. And like every year, I was asked, “What do you want for Father’s Day?”

The routine responses popped into my head first— a movie or a CD from , maybe a shirt from or that new resale shop.

Then I started thinking of how my son Johnny, 7, and I will spend the day together. Again, the usual ideas— go see a movie, spend an hour at the arcade, maybe stop by and go out to lunch for some nachos at .

This lead me to reminisce about past Father’s Days and how that one time Johnny and I...

What did we do? I honestly can’t remember. I cannot remember a single past Father’s Day. I know when he was just a baby, he and his mother made me a tie with his hand prints on it. But that’s about it.

Are our Father’s Days really that unmemorable? Or does our non-holiday time together eclipse the magnitude of minor holiday celebrations and make them seem normal? Or is senility already rearing its head in my twenties?!

Whatever the case, I realized that as much as I love a good Blu-ray or a nice tie, I’d rather remember my son giving them to me. Or a handmade paper card from a workshop in his first grade class at . Or a hug to wake me up in the morning.

I don’t really care what he gives me, I just want the moments. I want to keep them and enjoy them again and again and I hate the fact that I can’t keep them all, like a computer filling up hard drive after hard drive.

That little metaphor gave me quite the literal idea. A family journal. Kids of all ages are encouraged in school and often at home to keep a diary or journal. For many, regularly writing in a journal is an extremely cathartic experience, but it also gives the future 'you' a chance to catch up on your own life in a much more detailed way then relying on your brain alone.

So, why not keep one as an adult? and both have some nice options for journals, but all you really need is a cheap pad of paper and can save you some money going down that route.

I personally use my computer, which gives me the option of backing all of our memories up on external hard drives and include picture and video files; plus, I hate writing free hand.

Either way, if you take it upon yourself to take down a few notes on the day’s events this Father’s Day or Fourth of July or just an interesting Tuesday, you’ll thank yourself one day when you can look back and truly remember, and maybe have a good laugh.

It's how I remember Johnny requesting a cheeseburger from McDonald's a few months ago because they "water his mouth." Priceless.

Kimberly Middlewood June 18, 2011 at 11:07 AM
Hi Ryan, This is a very honestly written piece...it makes one think. As the MOM (who is kinda in charge of Father's Day) I enjoyed reading this. I love to take pictures...visual reminders are needed, trust me we have a 24 year old, a 21 year old, a 19 year old and a 6 year old. Without photos I'm not sure we would recall all of the wonderful little moments we shared with our older children. I think I will start online journaling about our little one. But I think I will add photos. You should add pics too. (Not that you don't have a slew of photos of your son already but a pic with a written memory has a really nice sound to it.) Thanks for the idea. :)
michael J June 18, 2011 at 01:25 PM
"Cat's in the Cradle", I just found out Mom's were behind Father's day, I am depressed, I thought like Santa, Father's day was for real, Grilling Fillets of Salmon, or Trout, asparagus, Notice, no T' Bones, or Porterhouses, or huge Bugers, on purpose, nope I want to be awake for the Whole finnal round of the U.S. Open, and not miss a lap of Nascar race at MIS, don't want to miss the 5 phone calls, a couple just before midnight, Dad I got busy and I ... one smiles, and thinks of the Ballad " Just Like You Dad" Just like you, Ok ok, Harry Chapin's, "Cats in the Cradle" My Child arrived just the other day, now he is 43, in my eyes still a child, but in the world a very nice man, after 3 more sons, she just arrived, I filmed her birth, the other day, now she is 26, the other night, Bruins won Lord Stanley, CBC went to the BURNING of Vancouver, WDIV went to the feed out of Boston, the pubs during the game and how empty they were after, I looked intensely for the Baby, she said no Dad I am Just like you, good or Bad, thru osmosis the over all soul, is blended in, but humor, out comes the little sattire, I guess it is the memories, the clichets , the heat of maturing, "you know we will have a good time when" My one fantasy, is on Father's day, Now ON the First Tee, the Five sum of >>>, ..., ''''''',,,, //// they are so spread out, " you know we will have a good time when" cause I am just like you DAD, the calls so looked forward to, are bitter sweet, cause they hang up.

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