A Flipped Father’s Day: Ask Not What You Can Buy For Your Father, Ask What Your Father Can Buy For You

The Brosgol Family.

Courtesy of Dan Brosgol.

Getting presents when you get older is much like getting older in general.

It kind of sucks.

I’ve reached the age where if there’s something I want, I’ll buy it. I’ll see a soccer jersey on TV and order it online. I’ll buy a book and read in on my Kindle without thinking twice. I don’t need to go through the charade of asking and waiting, and will at the same time happily accept all of the trinkets and art projects that wind their way home through my kids’ backpacks.

In general I answer the old “What Do You Want For Father’s Day?” question by saying “nothing,” because I’m just about fine with what I have. If the kids are feeling really ambitious they can walk to Starbucks and do a morning errand for me on Sunday, but honestly I’d rather just do activities together and make everyone else happy by buying them things.

But in a sneaky way, when it comes to buying stuff that I want, there’s one area where our interests converge, allowing me to buy stuff for my kids that I, in fact, also want.


That’s right: my musical tastes coincide more or less exactly with my 2 ½ year old and 6-year old daughters’. It begins with Taylor Swift and ends with Frozen, and might bump into a Selena Gomez or Ellie Goulding on the way. It’s a playlist that I bought on my own before the girls got into it, and I can let it ride for a good half hour without hitting a song we all don’t like.

On the current Dad-and-girls top three, we’re starting the day with “Bad Blood” and then moving on to “Let It Go” and “Do You Want To Build A Snowman.” And that’s just the beginning, as my soon-to-be three year old hears a song maybe twice on the radio and apparently knows all the words—which is not very helpful and got me in trouble when she started singing the words to “Worth It” in front of my wife. (I like it a little rough / Not too much, but maybe just enough) Oops.

But let’s keep it real for a moment as I acknowledge that the girls do not have a monopoly on sharing my musical tastes. Famously, my sons and I spent the balance of our time in Israel in February rocking out to repetitions of Taylor Swift’s “1989” and “Red,” and an assortment of Katy Perry in our rental car, so much so that my oldest was asking for “Begin Again” pretty consistently after the trip. Not a problem for me.

So really, children of mine, if you’re struggling to buy something, anything, for me this Sunday, go ahead and make the easy choice. Enable another year of family sing-alongs to music full of girl power and catchy choruses. Get me an iTunes gift card and it will be like buying yourself a present.

Because in the end, isn’t that what we all want to do anyway?

Topics: Children
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How to cite this page

Brosgol, Dan. "A Flipped Father’s Day: Ask Not What You Can Buy For Your Father, Ask What Your Father Can Buy For You." 18 June 2015. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on October 2, 2023) <https://jwa.org/blog/flipped-father-s-day-ask-not-what-you-can-buy-for-your-father-ask-what-your-father-can-buy-for>.

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