Father’s Day has a baffling side because men can be, well, baffling – at least when it comes to other men. One thing they don’t tend to do is drool all over each other with flowers, candy and kisses – the hallmark of Mother’s Day. Boys have no problem drawing Dad a picture or writing him a poem. But besides picking out a card that doesn’t send him into a fit of hysterical laughter, I wonder how a fully grown man shows appreciation for the man who raised him.

Keep in mind that they’re both guys. So beyond the pat on the back, the handing over of a cool sci-fi thriller, and a quick Happy Father’s Day high-five, what’s a fella to do?

Since I had no clue, I asked around.

My friend Andrew said this:

“I’ve always felt a little weird about Father’s Day. The whole thing is obviously nudging us to tell our Dad “I admire you and I love you.” But my dad doesn’t say “I love you” and I’ve never had the slightest sense that he’s waiting for me to say it first. We’re guys; that stuff is unstated.

But then, this year, Dad surprised me and called me on Father’s Day, and that got me thinking and writing…”

Check out our second DADFAZE POST where our guest, memoir coach Andrew Szanton, shares the ‘appreciation list’ he emailed his dad. We liked the wisdom in it so much we’re posting here and sharing with the men, and boys, in our lives.


* Block towers need a strong foundation or they won’t stay up.

*You haven’t seen a baseball game until you’ve seen a Major League game in a stadium.

*You can’t really play chess just by moving your Queen around. You must use Knights, Bishops, Rooks and Queen in concert.

*Nobody wants to hear a long string of complaints. Make your point and move on.

*Men should be strong – and give the impression of strength even when they feel weak.

*Reading a good book is a great pleasure. So is collecting a book…or two.

*Writing well is a reward of its own. Worldly recognition may or may not come, but is not essential.

*Dinner table conversation is important.

*Always be able to make fine distinctions.

*If you’re writing about living people, and using real names, you MUST be fair.

*Choose your wife carefully – and then love and appreciate her.

*Always be an optimist.

*When change is inevitable, accept it with grace.


Boston-based Andrew Szanton has helped scores of people write their memoirs, including Nobel Laureate Eugene Wigner and civil rights leader Charles Evers. He believes we should all record our life stories before we die. To get started on yours, go to


About randi

Randi Chapnik Myers & Mara Shapiro don't get fazed by their teens. At least they try not to.

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