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Every Father's Day, I'm Still the Best Present

Dino Ciliberti entered the world on June 19, 1966, which just happened to fall on Father's Day that year.

Another Father's Day is here.

And I'm struggling to come up with a present fitting enough for my father.

The reason for the struggle: It's basically hard to top yourself.

See, way back in 1966, I was born on June 19, which just happened to fall on Father's Day.

I wasn't even supposed to arrive on Father's Day either. I think I came a few days or a week earlier than anticipated.

So almost 46 years later (my birthday is Tuesday), I'm the gift that keeps on giving. Gee, my lucky father.

Dear Old Dad lives around the corner from me in . He's an old rock 'n' roller (Maybe you read ; if not here it is again.)

We've spent the years not too far apart (save for my five years working in Massachusetts) and he's still giving fatherly advice. These days, it's more about health and finances than about going to college or not fighting with my sister.

He's enjoying retirement after working for the same company for 40 years. Who even does that these days?

You may have seen our Patch contest praising Dads. Trust me, as the father of a 9-year-old, we Dads can use the praise.

Sometimes we have to take a back seat to Moms, since they seem to be the ones our children will praise first. We fathers do the dirty work, toiling in the shadows. So Sunday is our day to shine.

My son recently wrote about how wonderful his mother is for a school project for Mother's Day. But I'm portrayed more like Darth Vader even though I'm the one who takes my son to sports events and plays Wii games with him.

"Luke, I'm your faaaathhheeeer!!!"

Yes, there is good in me. There's good in all Dads. We can't always be there for our children because sometimes we have to make certain sacrifices for those things called jobs or taking care of our families.

My father certainly did. He was working two jobs: in sales during the day and playing in bands at night while I was growing up in Delaware and New Jersey.

So here's to my father. And here's to your fathers.

I'm a Father's Day baby and proud of it. Dad got a great present. That's why I never have to bother trying to find that perfect gift. He already knows what it is -- it's me!

Willet Thomas June 17, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Has this guy have an ego.,,,or what?
Mallory Vough June 17, 2012 at 03:45 PM
I think his father would beg to differ and say his son is absolutely correct. What could be a more perfect Father's Day gift than a child? Beats that fancy remote or electric shaver, doesn't it?
richard June 17, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Happy fathersday to all the fathers out there. http://jokeofthedayblog.blogspot.com
voice of reason June 17, 2012 at 05:19 PM
think mom deserved more coverage for having gone through child birth 46 years ago
Sunday June 18, 2012 at 02:24 AM
Fathers Day has always been pretty much a bummer for me since my dad died when I was 13 yrs old. That was 34 years ago. But I will say this: Those 13 years I had with him were the best ever! I might not have had the amount of years with him that others have had with their dads, but I do have the most wonderful memories of him as my father. You see, he was a kid at heart and spent a lot of quality time with my brother and I. He taught us how to fish, grow a garden, take care of the lawn and swim. In the winter we went sleigh riding at night - especially if there was a full moon above the snow. In the summer he would cook for us on the grill and take us to all of the carnivals in the area. He made sure that we never went home until he won us a goldfish and when it would die (because they always did!) we had a funeral for it in the backyard and burried it in the flower garden. He bought us a telescope and taught us as much as he knew about the planets and our universe. He would let us stay up late on warm summer nights and catch lightening bugs and put them in our bug zoo that he bought us. Needless to say, he was awesome! Unfortunately, he was diagnosed with cancer when he was only 36 yrs old. He died 2 yrs later when he was 38. He put up a good fight as long as he could, but in the end he finally had to let go. Because of my wonderful childhood, I was able to give the same to my daughter while she was growing up. I will never, ever, forget him.
Beth June 18, 2012 at 01:56 PM
Both Mom's and Dad's live in the shadow (or I think should) of their kids growing and learning and becoming wonderful human beings. It's not what one parent does or doesn't do. When I chose to be a parent, I didn't do it for the recognition. A simple "I love you" is good enough for me.
Dino Ciliberti (Editor) June 19, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Mr. Thomas, thanks for your comment. As you'll see in the future, I try to write my columns tongue in cheek.

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