I used to think I didn’t care much for Father’s Day, but since I like getting the cards, art projects and extra time to hang out with my son, I suppose that’s just been the curmudgeon in me talking. This year, my son is old enough to know it’s a thing we do, so I’ve made some plans that will spell out the perfect day, but with one slight adjustment: we’re going to celebrate on Saturday instead.
I’m sure he’ll wake up too early, so we’ll start the day off slowly – he can help me grind my coffee and while I drink it, we’ll watch some Rocky & Bullwinkle or Looney Tunes and maybe even some School House Rock. Saturday morning cartoons are alive and well in our house, and since this will be my day, maybe I’ll get first choice of what we watch.
Once my coffee is finished, we’ll head on over to the Montclair Bread Company’s stand at the Farmers Market. For years now, he and I have been sharing what are arguably the best carrot muffins on the planet. He’s 5 now and eating more, so it’s about time we started getting two, but for Father’s Day, sharing one sounds perfect.
Then it’s off to Edgemont Park. Nothing gets us more prepared for a nap later than an hour or two of running up, down, under, over and through everything that’s there. If it’s warm, the ice cream truck parked close to the playground is always tempting and my expanding paunch demonstrates that I don’t always say no when I inevitably get asked if we can get something.
From there, it’s the long walk home – me on foot, him on his tricycle – with a brief stop to get bagels at Hot Bagels Abroad. Bagels are like pizza – there are plenty of places to get some in town and everyone has their preference. This one on Valley is our top choice and it’s conveniently on the way home from Edgemont. He’ll always ask for a green one, which of course they only make around St. Patrick’s Day, but is never too disappointed that a “normal” one is what ends up in the bag for him.
Since this is Father’s Day, a little adult entertainment is called for, so when we pass by Amanti Vino, I’m bee-lining for the tasting bar. Rufus, the gentle giant and only large dog my son isn’t afraid of, will get his share of petting and giggles from my son while I enjoy the afternoon’s offerings. I just learned they’re going to have a cheese tasting from 3 to 4 this Saturday, too, so when Rufus has had his fill of petting, I’ll be sure to continue teaching my boy about the finer things with some Artisanal cheese.
After lunch it’s nap time, right? Please? Pretty please? Oh, all right, we’ll go to the grand opening of the LEGO store in Jersey Gardens. Sure, we need a car to get there, so it won’t all be local, but what the heck, I’m a sucker for a LEGO party and naps rarely happen when he’s excited.
Wrapping up the day will be an early dinner at home and then off to The Bellevue to see Madagascar 3. Honestly, it doesn’t matter what we see, it’s all about sitting next to my son in the theater I used to go to when I was a kid. He gets M&Ms, I get popcorn. We share, enjoy and hold hands whenever there’s a scary part.
And that’s the day. It doesn’t matter to me if Father’s Day is technically Sunday. Saturday will be our day and I get to spend it with the little boy who’s the reason I can celebrate it at all. There aren’t many days you get to plan out everything you really want to do, stick close to home and enjoy, so I’ll take this one and that is what Father’s Day will be to me.
William Scheckel is the Editor-in-Chief of The Fathers’ Lounge, a Marketing Consultant, a Social Media Professor and, of course, a Dad.