In years past, my contribution to Father's Day consisted of a phone call, a gift, and, if I really had my act together, a card. (Sorry, Dad.) Then my husband and I had a baby, and suddenly the holiday took on a whole new meaning for me.
Though our son was only a few months old by the time big day rolled around, my husband was already knee-deep in baby caring. He could change a diaper in the dead of night, with no lights on and without waking me up. He put together the crib, the co-sleeper and the armoire—and had the blisters on his hands to prove it. In the early days, on chilly spring nights, he'd come home from work, take off his shirt, and sit with our son for a few minutes just so they could have some skin-to-skin time. The guy's been there, is still here, and for that I'm eternally grateful.
Which brings me back to my own dad, who also logged countless hours taking care of my sisters and me. But with time and distance, the one day set aside to honor him has become, well, perfunctory—and I know I'm not the only one who feels this way.
This year, though, it looks like fathers may just be given their due. Companies are stepping up with high-profile campaigns to celebrate the main man in our lives. Some are making the shopping a little easier on us: Zappos, for instance, is opening its first-ever pop up shop featuring dad-inspired gifts, while Motorola recently offered a deep discount on its fancy smartwatch.
But others are going right for the heartstrings. Toyota, for example, is piggybacking on its tear-jerker of a Super Bowl ad with two new videos: one that asks young adults how they celebrate Father's Day (short answer: they don't) and another that features one guy's trip to Wyoming to reunite with his dad. Sure, that video features some prime shots of the Camry—it's an ad, after all—but the message there is a good one. Instead of phoning in this year's celebration, we should put in a little extra effort to honor our fathers for all their sacrifice and love, and to show them some gratitude. After all, they've earned it.
Check out the sweet reunion below, then tell us how you're celebrating Father's Day this year:
Don't forget to sign up to receive our free Parents Daily Baby newsletter
Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow is a New York City-based writer and editor who traded in her Blackberry and Metro card for playdates and PB&J sandwiches—and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch her feisty, funny son grow up. Follow her on Twitter Pinterest, and Google+.
Image of dad and baby courtesy of Shutterstock