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Honoring Dad on Father’s Day

<p>Happy Father’s Day (PHOTO BY LISA M. DAHM| NHN)</p>

Happy Father’s Day (PHOTO BY LISA M. DAHM| NHN)

There’s a bright yellow ribbon tied to my front porch post for Father’s Day this year. I’m chicken – I had to wait until the halfway through my husband’s yearlong deployment to Afghanistan to put it up. Any earlier would have made my stomach lurch every time we pulled into the driveway.

My husband’s absence has given me a new respect for single parents, and it’s also shown me how important it is to a family, and to a community, to honor a good dad.

I believe children can do well with a inspirational mom, grandparent or guardian as well, but it’s important to give selfless dads credit for building character, nuturing a sense of wonder in our children, and adding a good dose of fun to everyday life.

My own dad is a hard act to follow. He made life fun. In the winter on the East Coast, he constructed an ice skating rink in our front lawn to keep us busy and, probably against the law even then, took us “tubing” in the streets – a sport enjoyed by tying a rope on the back of a truck that is connected to an old tire tube or sled. With several of our friends piled on at once, he’d drive us through the snowy neighborhood roads, crack-the-whip style, before the plows came.

In summers, he’d take us on regular road trip quests up and down the East Coast in search of bigger and better roller coasters that we systematically conquered. And though he worked many hours, he still managed to build the backstop for my high school softball team and to be there for games.

I’m lucky – my husband also falls in the good dad category. He’s never met a Lego, ball or bug that he couldn’t pass up. And I’m looking forward to having my own walking encyclopedia around the house again rather than relying on Google to get through the endless stream of boy questions.

I hope you’ll take a few minutes, or even a whole day, to honor your dad or a significant male role model in your life this Father’s Day. Though you may not be able to take him to brunch, you can find a creative way to honor him.

If you’re short on ideas, you can participate in the Waimea Preservation Association’s 4.5 km fun run/walk on Father’s Day at 8 a.m., June 16. Advance registration is from 3-5 p.m., Friday, June 14, or from 7-7:45 a.m., at the Sunday event.

The course starts at the WPA building at the corner of the main intersection across from Bank of Hawaii, then south on Lindsey Road, east behind Parker Ranch Center, south on Pukalani Road to the end of Ala ‘Ohia (Parker Ranch connector road) and back.

The event will end with breakfast refreshments, finisher prizes and door prizes. Bring a photo of your dad, or of a significant male community role model you admire, to add to their board. Cost is $20 for adults, $15 for youth 12-18, and free for keiki under 12. For more information, contact Pete Hendricks at 885-4453, or visit www.WaimeaPreservation.org.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads who make our community special. Without you, there would be a huge gap at soccer, football, basketball and baseball games, and we’d miss you for Boy Scouts, surfing lessons and at beach clean ups. We’re grateful for all you do for North Hawaii and for the future leaders of our community. And a special Happy Father’s Day, too, to the dads serving our country in Afghanistan and around the world.