Photo of many with child walking on beach. Posted on mickey markoff article about national son's day.

September 28 is National Son’s Day in the United States. It is a date which we can take to pay tribute to the importance of the men in our lives, our son’s, and the parents who helped raise them. Although the day may come but once a year, taking time to reflect on the role of sons in our lives is something we should do on a regular basis. 

The importance of family cannot be overstated. The warmth, comfort, and security that a supportive family can provide is immeasurable. Ask any Father if the same is true for their sons, and you are likely to get a similar response. As vital as the role of a parent is to provide for their children, it is an equally vital role that a child plays in a parent’s life. There is comfort in knowing we have the love and support of our children, and that they can rest in knowing they have our love and support, too. 

Taking the time to honor the role that our sons have in our life is essential. Today, and throughout the year, take the time to consider how becoming a parent has changed your life. How has the opportunity to be a parent to your son impacted your life for the better? Perhaps you have developed more empathy, understanding, patience, compassion? Many parents have this experience. 

As parents, we have the opportunity to raise our children with the values we find important, and help our kids to navigate what can often be a difficult world to understand. We often find along the way that our children, despite our best efforts, may not see, understand, or think about the world in the same ways we do. And this is okay. This can give us insight into not only our own ways of living in the world, but into how we can help instill our values while respecting those of our family. 

However you choose to honor your sons, by blood, adoption, or those of friends and family, take the opportunity to reflect on gratitude. What gifts have been brought into your life because of their presence? How different would your life be without them? If you feel comfortable, consider taking time today to share why you are most grateful for the sons in your life. That said, do not feel constrained to only do this on a designated day. Reflecting on the roles of our family and how much we appreciate them is something we could all stand to do on a daily basis.

Life is short, and we may not be guaranteed one day from the next. Appreciating those people in our life who enrich our daily experience can make the present moment that much more enjoyable. So today, say ‘thank you’ to the sons in your life. Be grateful for the fulfillment that comes with being a parent. Be grateful, too, for those other people in your son’s life who have brough them enrichment. 

If you are wondering about ways to celebrate National Son’s Day, consider reaching out to your son. Even something as simple as a phone call, e-card, or zoom chat could be a way to connect without needing to travel physical distance. The pandemic may have introduced challenges to connecting in the physical world, but technology has opened up new ways for us to stay close to those that are important to us. If you are lucky enough to be physically close to your son, consider activities that you both can enjoy together. Identify things that he enjoys that you may not have experienced yet, and identify the same sorts of activities that you may enjoy that he may not have experienced. This will allow you both a bit of insight into each other. If you can identify things that you have both not experienced but are intrigued to try, this could be a fun experience, too. Having a few ‘firsts’ together could be the start of a new hobby for you both. Regardless of how you celebrate the day, be sure to do so with gratitude. 

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