Every year, as Father’s Day approaches, I ask M what he would like to get his dad. The standard response is “I don’t know.” My suggestions that we go out together to look for a gift are usually rebuffed: “can’t you do it, Mommy?”
I am somewhat mystified by M’s reluctance to help select a gift for his dad (admittedly he is similarly disinterested in picking out birthday and Christmas gifts). He has gone out gift-shopping for me with my husband for the last several years – apparently, he is a willing participant in the selection process. Maybe M thinks his dad actually needs his help, whereas, I am seen to be perfectly capable of finding an appropriate gift.
That’s not really the point – he’s almost 11 and I think he’s old enough to participate in picking out a gift for his dad, especially for Father’s Day. I am not asking him to spend his own money, just to be involved.
So this year, I took a different approach. Rather than ask him to go shopping with me, I decided to take him to a local store that is a favourite of my husband’s. We had to pass by the shop on our way back from his karate lesson, so it wasn’t a big sell to get him to go in. We agreed on a pair of shorts. He was immediately distracted by one of the books the shop owner keeps to entertain clients’ children, so it was a bit tricky to get him to actually identify the ones he liked best. The first pair he selected didn’t come in his dad’s size, so we agreed on a pair of beige plaid shorts.
At that point, the salesperson brought some shirts from the back that we are on sale – we are frequent customers and are known to like a bargain. But when I showed them to M, he didn’t seem that keen. The sales clerk said she would give us 60% off a shirt, so I suggested to M that we take it too. But he wasn’t happy and when I questioned him, he said, “you aren’t listening to me. I don’t think that shirt will look good on Daddy.”
Of course, he was right. So we left just with the shorts. I realized that I would never be able to get M to help buy another gift for his dad, if I didn’t listen to him. Not always as easy thing for me to do – I often want things to be a certain way. But if I want M to take the responsibility of selecting a gift, I have to respect his choice. I did ask him if he wanted to buy a card or have me make one – he chose the home-made option.
The card I came up with is one of my best. I used the image of a hat, since my husband is a hat afficienado. I found paper at Michaels that was the same colour and texture of cardboard. I couldn’t find any clipart images I liked, so I copied and pasted a picture of a hat from ebay. I printed in in black and white onto the cardstock and cut out around the hat itself. In a contrasting colour, I cut out a slightly larger outline of the hat. I added a few embellishments – metal corners, wasabi tape and printed “hats off to a great dad” in a fun font.
As is my way, I decorated the inside of the card too. M seemed pretty pleased with the final product.
My husband was delighted with his shorts and the card. He wore the shorts all the day and told M how much he liked them. He really liked the card – he thought it was one of my better effort (High praise, since I’ve showed him (forced him to see) every card I’ve ever made. He did wonder why M’s name appeared to be spelled wrong – M was in the middle of watching something on the computer when I asked him to sign the card. Can’t have everything.