Father’s Day became official here in 1972, but at least one of the stories circulated about its origin began a century earlier in Spokane, Washington. U.S. Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart reared his six children as a single parent after his wife died. One of his daughters, Sonora Smart Dodd, was so grateful that she campaigned for a day like the then newly-instituted Mother’s Day to commemorate his shining fatherhood and paternal parenting universally.
The stories about Dodd’s dedication to her dad don’t reveal the details. But I suspect that her admiration was not about size, but scope – a microscope. That is, her abiding adoration for her father was composed of his mundane, minute, but ever-caring acts magnified over time to create a lasting (dare we say big?) impact in her life.
In our hearts we know it. The good feelings we have about our male family members are not wrought of lofty edifices like the Sears Tower, but (if you’ll forgive me), woven enduringly like our men’s Pima shirts and Alpaca sweaters, stitch by loving stitch, on a smaller, more daily-wear scale.