It’s an orange and grey fall morning in 1994. The streets of Pasadena California are littered with dry leaves that crunch beneath my small LA Gear light-up sneakers. There’s a breeze but it’s pleasantly warm.
As my dad, my older sister and I take our morning walk to school, we point out the neighbor’s strangely shaped hedges, flowers and trees. I point to a series of tall weedy looking bushes that stretch up passed the perimeter fence of a corner house.
|Me and my dad in his “Beetlejuice” hair stage
“Those are the guards for the mermaid princess” I squeak, my tiny fingers pointing with urgency, my eyebrows bending up in the middle with genuine excitement. My sister runs ahead to a bed of multicolored pansies, their faces splattered with black splotches that look undoubtedly and eerily like frowning, sullen expressions.
“These are mer-people who were turned into seaweed by the evil Sea-Witch!” she gasps, as if she had just made a true grave discovery. This continues for the 15 minutes that it takes to reach our elementary school.
My dad chimes in here and there with goofy discoveries of his own, but mostly he just walks and listens to his kids using their imaginations.
I don’t remember much about my life when I was 7 years old but I’ll never forget my walks to school with my dad. He still takes his walks, although these days it’s with his dog Scoob.
Just like mothers, fathers can mean different things to different people; a biological relation, a person who stepped in to raise you as their own, a best friend or hero. It matters less how they are your father, but why they are your father.
This Sunday, June 17th, is Father’s Day and while the good ol’ neck tie-shaped cookies and cards are always great, this year it might be nice to give a Father’s Day gift that is absolutely priceless: his health.
Here are a couple gift ideas for the active dad!
- Think Sport stainless steel 25 oz bottles come in bright vibrant colors such as green, purple, orange and blue (my favorite!) as well as silver and matte black. They also come with a removable mesh filter for keeping ice from attacking your face or brewing tea on the go.
- Livestrong SPF 30 sunscreen by ThinkSport donates a portion of each sale to the fight against cancer. It’s a mineral based sunscreen with 20% zinc oxide and no parabans, PABA or harmful chemicals.
- Builder Bars from Clif are not only delicious but they also yield 20 grams of protein in 1 bar as well as 23 vitamins and minerals.
- Lassen’s Hit the Trail organic prepackaged bulk trail mix is the perfect snack companion for those long trails and bike rides in the beautiful outdoors.
- Herban Cowboy shave soap is 100% vegan and uses organic oils to ensure a close shave and smooth skin.
- Sweet Woods natural cologne by SB for Men may inspire a sudden walk through the nearest park. Hints of sandalwood and balsam make this woodsy cologne a nice gift for a lover of the outdoors.
- Tree Free has a lovely variety of Father’s Day cards printed on recycled paper and printed with soy based inks.
- Fish oils like Renew Life’s critical omega are very important for heart & joint health, especially in aging men. 1 capsule delivers 800mg of omega 3 fatty acids as well as 5mg of Lipase, the enzyme that helps to break down fats, thereby helping against those nasty fishy burps.
- A good multivitamin is also very important. Garden of Life makes it easy with their RAW ONE FOR MEN one-a-day raw multivitamin. This whole food multivitamin also has a raw probiotic and enzyme blend for extra immune and digestive support.
For many of us it can be difficult to try to come up with a way to give your father back even a fraction of what he’s given you. No amount of cookies or cards can equate the years of sacrifice and love he’s put into making you the person that you are today. All you can do is love your father everyday for who he is and do your part to make sure that you get to spend many more years with him.
Have a wonderful Father’s Day!