Being a dad is gift enough

Sunday is Father’s Day, although I much prefer the expression Dad’s Day since Jesus told us in the Bible not to call anyone on earth “father,” because there is One Father, Who is in Heaven. And not wanting to step on God’s toes, I like to be called dad. I know I’m taking this to extremes, but that’s what neurotics do.

On dad’s day, the best gifts to give and receive, in my humble opinion, are simple, and personal. That’s why, to this day, I always give my dad, who’s 92, a Dad’s Day card with an edge to it; something that’s a little nasty or sassy. Why? Because he loves them and it makes him laugh, and to me, there’s nothing better than seeing that.

Through the years, my own children have acquired the same weird sense of humor. I can always count on getting a card from each of them that “puts me in my place,” so to speak. For me, the nastier and more insulting the better. They can’t wait for me to open it, and I can’t wait to see it. That’s the bond between a Jolivet dad and his kiddies.

When  they were younger, it were the hand-made cards that brought the most joy — and laughs — although the laughs weren’t always intended.

Like the time Emilie game me a card with Francine from “Arthur” on it calling me the best dad in the “hole” world. I still have that in my office today.


All of my kids proudly handed over hand-made cards that were refrigerator-worthy (the outside, not the inside). Another of Emilie’s still has a prominent spot in my Anchor office (see photo). It’s an origami ghost with her signature. Nothing says Happy Dad’s Day like an origami ghost!

There’s nothing like Dad’s Day to highlight just how much your children have grown, and how proud you are of them.

Emilie just completed her freshman year at UMass Dartmouth as a graphic design major. Take a look at the origami ghost and tell me she would have a career as an artist! But her last semester earned her a 3.94 GPA, with 3.75 GPA for the year. I’ve also included another of her artwork, from this year. This one made it to our living room wall, not the fridge (see other photo — you should be able to tell the difference).


My oldest daughter Lauren was just proposed to at the Magic Kingdom in Disney World, by her high school sweetie, Steve. And Ben has had several plays he’s written that have recently been performed in R.I., Louisiana, and California.

I often wonder what DJoe would have given me through the years, yet I have a distinct feeling he’s had a hand in helping out his sibs keep their old man in check. I also wonder what type of kid he would be, but based on his sibs, he would be OK. I’m just a dad concerned about his children, but I know DJoe is just fine.

Four great kids is enough of a Dad’s Day gift for anyone.

As I mentioned earlier though, my full-grown children are eager to hand me a card that will make me laugh, but they also include a nice gift for their old man, which is entirely unnecessary, yet completely appreciated.

I guess I sometimes take the gift of dad-hood for granted, and it’s times like Dad’s Day that I’m reminded just how fortunate a man I am.

I may take the gift for granted, but I never take my children for granted. I’ve seen with my own eyes how someone can be here one day, and not the next.

There have been some tough times being a dad, but I can honestly say that the good times overshadow the bad times, and I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world.

Denise and I have not had the luxuries others of our generation have had: the cruises, the fancy cars, the beautiful homes in the country, but that was a choice we made a long time ago.

I love being a dad, and I’ve loved every stage it’s taken me through. I don’t miss the diaper days, only because of the diapers, but it’s been a fun ride with a great group of kids. Being a dad is gift enough on Dad’s Day.

Dave Jolivet can be contacted at

© 2018 The Anchor and Anchor Publishing   †   Fall River, Massachusetts