My youngest brother recently flew across the country to visit me for a couple days and I found myself faced with that periodic question of what values or cool things I wanted to impart to him. The reality is that it's unbelievably easy to just go through life without putting intention into the relationships around us, particularly those who look up to us in ways we don't even realize. So I'm always fascinated when I come across articles where men talk about the things that older mentor figures in their lives taught them, whether that figure was a father, friend, or Uncle John...
The cold nylon of my swimming trunks crackles beneath snow-pants. My wool socks are damp, pooled around my ankles, snow finding its way down the top of my untied boots. My daughter and I are looking for the sauna. It's 8pm in a far-northern latitude; moonless and black. The snow is gray and luminescent as we puff through drifts, crunch over ice.
She's giddy. And terrified. Her first time, in a new swimsuit her mom packed, with questions about how it will all work.
"Will it hurt, Dad? Is it dangerous?"
I tell her it won't, and it isn't, even though I don't really know (being a first-timer myself).
And finally we find it. A hundred years
Unless you live in the Minnesotan tundra, now’s the perfect time to get ahead of the snowfall and make a childhood dream come true with this steerable sled project from Popular Mechanics. (just kidding Minnesotans, you’ll figure it out). While you’re at it, why not do it with your child? This DIY guide comes with photographic step-by-steps and mentions which ones require the presence of an experienced adult and which ones can by done by a child on their own.
There's not much help out there for poor souls seeking advice for Father's Day gifts. Stores and advertisers haven't really gotten over the golf and/or grilling card, the necktie, the crummy multi-tool set, or the everpresent aftershave.
Your dad does not want these for Father's Day. I promise.
There's a lot I could say about my less-than-ideal relationship with my dad growing up, but I prefer to focus on the things I really value. Like how much he taught me about the history of rock and roll and R&B, and that he showed he cared by making a bagged lunch for me every day until I graduated high school. (We didn't have a hot lunch service; everybody brown bagged it).
Whether good, strained, or non-existant, we're all defined and informed by our relationships to our parents, and the father-son one in particular. But, if you're able to be in touch with your dad throughout your life, you'll note, of course, that such a relationship changes, and you see him with a new set of eyes every few years.
I've gone on record before about my general distrust of gender-based gift guides. I find them to be mostly biased, reinforcing the norms that led me to start ManMade in the first place. But, more importantly, and more offensively, they're unimaginative. Yes, men wear t-shirts and have wallets, and play video games, and tend to like gadgets. We know this. Please take it to the next step.
But this fine Father's Day gift guide from Brittany and Jacob at Wantist avoids all the traps. Its inclusive for all types of guys, and provides unique, solid stuff, that anyone might want, including dads. Plus, it's beautifully designed and full of care.
Check it out.