Saturday, July 23, 2011

Parent's Day

Today is Parent's Day...who knew?  When I first saw this I never realized it was an actual holiday.  I mean, we already have Mother's Day and Father's Day.  Now a joint Parent's Day?  While I am a fan of any occasion that gives recognition for someone's hard work, this was a complete surprise to me.  After researching this day I found some pretty interesting facts.  Did you know that Parent's Day was established in 1994, and it was actually signed into law at that time by President Bill Clinton?  It is celebrated on the 4th Sunday in July every year.  The Congressional Resolution that was signed into law states that Parent's Day is for "recognizing, uplifting, and supporting the role of parents in the rearing of children."   Another fact that is interesting to me is that this bill was introduced by Senator Trent Lott, who just happened to be the state senator from Mississippi, my home state!  This is another reason why I am surprised that I haven't heard of this holiday before. 

United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has said: "Replacing Mother's Day and Father's Day with a Parents' Day should be considered, as an observance more consistent with a policy of minimizing traditional sex-based differences in parental roles"  I can't say that I agree with the honorable judge.  There has always been and I hope will always be sex-based parenting roles.  There will always be a mommy and a daddy.  While the family unit may differ, there may only be 1 parent, or 2 males, or 2 females, or even 1 male and 1 female, in order to naturally produce a child it will still always take a mother and a father, a male and female.

In today's world, traditional roles may have changed, the father may not be the breadwinner, choosing instead to stay home and be the caregiver while the mother works.  Both parents’ may work outside the home and share child rearing responsibilities.  In single parent homes the parent takes the roles of both mother and father.   While you may have a mom, who can't cook, but coaches on the soccer team while the dad whips up a batch of chocolate chip cookies they still have a role to play that should be recognized individually as well as jointly.

I can't say that I see doing away with Mother's Day and Father's day for a joint Parent's day, after all Parents’ Day has been established for 17 years now, and I’m just now learning about it.  It must not even be a biggie with Hallmark Cards.  But I do think that it’s a good idea to recognize your parents and thank them for helping you become the person you are today.  You wouldn't be expected to go all out, especially if you celebrated in May and June; however a phone call to your parents letting them know you appreciate them, and catch them up on current events in your life would be a nice gesture.

So, today, on Parent's Day, give your folks a call, send an email or text to let them know you are thinking of them.  I'm positive it will make their day!

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