When is Father’s Day?

Father’s Day 2012 is this Sunday, June 17. And though the holiday may be a source of celebration now, it had a bit of a bumpy start. While Mother’s Day was made official in 1914, Father’s Day floundered until 1972 when President Nixon proclaimed the third Sunday in June to be a federal holiday.

This year, the National Retail Federation estimates that $12.7 billion will be spent on Father’s Day gifts (that’s a lot of ties!). But all these tokens are really just a way to say, “Thanks, dad.”

After all, our dads were there to witness our first steps, our first words, and our first day of school. They were the ones who picked us up when the car ran out of gas, showed us how to change a flat, or at least taught us the difference between a crescent wrench and a socket wrench. And for many of us, it was probably dad who taught us to ride a tricycle and then a bike — and eventually to drive a car (the holy grail of teenagedom).

Whether dad’s driving advice was calm and practical (try not to hit that tree) or stressed and maniacal (oh #*$%, don’t hit that tree!!), it was most likely well-intentioned as he tried to make sure you’d be safe on the road. Do you ever find yourself thinking about his driving wisdom when you’re stuck in traffic or trying to parallel park? See? No matter how much dad’s presentation skills may have lacked, what he taught us about driving will last a lifetime.

Most of us will discover at some point in our lives that dear ol’ dad was indeed right about checking the oil regularly, getting tune-ups, and not talking on the phone while we drive.

Like Mark Twain is believed to have said: “When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished by how much he’d learned in seven years.”

What did your dad teach you about driving? Share your stories.

Happy Father’s Day

Father’s Day doesn’t have to apply only to the person with whom we share our genes. It can be about thanking anyone who helped us grow into the people we are today.

As you think back on all your dad (or other male role model) taught you — fondly or not — maybe it’s time to let them know how much you really care. A heartfelt note, written by hand, should do the trick. (Tie is optional.)

Around the nation


about Kate

With more than 15 years' communication experience, Kate's a 10-year Esurance veteran, who’s spent the last 4 years as Internal Communications Manager. A transplanted New Yorker and one-time waitress, Kate was drawn to the Bay Area’s restaurant scene (where she likes to over-tip).