The Silicon Valley Voice

Power To Your Voice


William Smart, a Civil War veteran, was widowed when his wife died while giving birth to their sixth child. He raised all six kids by himself on a rural farm in Washington State. While listening to a Mother’s Day sermon, his daughter Sonora realized her father deserved to be honored for his selflessness and sacrifice. So, on June 19th, 1910, the first Father’s Day celebration was held in Spokane, Washington.

This coming Sunday, dad is officially head honcho. In today’s eclectic family the gifts and pleasures bestowed are not dependent on DNA. “Dad” is the man who lovingly and respectfully helps raise the kids. He’s the one who deserves all the honors, kisses and kudos, regardless of his official title.

If money is not a concern, a weekend trip to Pebble Beach, or 49er season tickets are more than appropriate. If, however, your piggy bank is looking a bit gaunt, there are still ways to make his day – one he will remember for years to come. And the best part, the kids do all the work!


Turn the lawn chair into a throne that puts within the king’s reach everything he needs to be king of the castle. Use clamps or tape to attach appropriate accessories (umbrella for shade, drink cup, back-scratcher, etc.) Brainstorm together everything he enjoys. Bring out the boom box or iPod with his favorite songs, and a bucket for soaking his feet. Serve his favorite smoothie, or beer in a frosted mug. Dish up his favorite meal on a breakfast tray, and if you really want to go out on a limb, assign each family member slave duty for an hour. Dad can demand back, foot and head rubs.

One minion may have to wash the car, while others clean the back yard or garage. If you’re looking to get out of manual labor, offer to bring him the paper and read it to him.

Don’t forget the homemade cards. They are truly priceless. Use construction paper, pictures of the family and charming quotes, like the French Proverb, “A father is a banker provided by nature.” Or, “I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection” – Sigmund Freud. And my favorite, “The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother” – Henry Ward Beecher. For more quotes, poems, recipes, and gift ideas, visit

For a real sentimental punch, have the children make their own book for Dad. Klutz Build-a-Book: Why I love my Dad by Sherri Haab is a kit containing everything a kid needs to create a one-of-a-kind book just for dad to show off and cherish.

Dads, if you’re reading this, act surprised. Also, go over the top when showing your appreciation. The children will begin to recognize how much better it is to give than to receive.

Listen to their stories, and congratulate them on a job well done. As Shakespeare penned in “Merchant of Venice,” “It is a wise father that knows his own child.”

Contact Margaret Lavin at


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