It took me nearly thirty years to realise how good a man my Dad is. That he did literally everything he could to give us the life he couldn’t have, sparing none if his time, energy or resources to make it happen. And now that I’ve got my own kids, I appreciate it all so much more, hoping my kids can come to that realisation with me a whole lot sooner.
But there’s the million dollar question to all Dads—are you your kids’ superhero, or are you the guy they love because they should?
I might not always be my sons’ favourite, but the smiles on their faces when I get home each day don’t lie. The joy I hear as we horse around tells me I’m doing something right.
Almost made me wonder why I didn’t have kids sooner.
But in any case, I’m grateful that my parents paved the way for a life where I regularly hang with my kids—it gives me the opportunity to keep being their superhero!
You may have noticed that Father’s Day’s around the corner, and it leaves me with mixed feelings. Sure, as a Dad it’s great to have a day recognising our efforts, but it constantly feels like we put a lot less thinking into it than Mother’s Day.
Maybe we’re too hard to shop for. We invariably see variations on the same gifts every year—booze. Gadgets. Sports stuff. Shaving things. New tools, automotive merchandise… if you’re going to get Dad a gift this June, you should at least do it right.
I like it—and shopping at Mark’s—because they carry product combining fashion with functionality. The Stroller Jacket’s water-repellent, breathable, and easy to wash, so for a Dad routinely at his little boys’ mercy, it’s a perfect fit. (#DadJoke.)
And if I’ve learned anything from my time writing posts for Mark’s, I’m not the only one who’s down with their brand—plenty of my readers tell me how much they trust Mark’s to give them the right gear for their work and personal needs!
Call me selfish, but I’ve never understood why parents felt they need to give up everything for the sake of their kids. Just about everything in your life changes, no doubt, but I think it’s important to retain at least some of who you were before. You don’t want to end up like the horror story I hear a little too often—the empty-nester a couple of decades down the road, unsure what to do in a life without kids to look after.
You’ve gotta keep doing you—and for me, this means keeping my fashion game on point.
Let’s be real—the bar for Dad fashion is ridiculously low. I used to think it was bad as a man, but seeing my parental ilk clad in ill-fitting T-shirts and shoes that’d most definitely seen better days, I didn’t want to send those years spent curating a wardrobe for myself spiralling down the drain. Sure, I no longer had time to iron every morning or ensure I saw my face in my shoes, but what I can do is continue coming equipped for whatever life throws at me.
Which is exactly what I’m doing with Mark’s Spring footwear collection!
I feel like people have Mark’s all wrong. For a long time, people thought Mark’s carried “Dad clothes” like it was a bad thing. But in 2016 as a Dad with kids of my own, I can tell you Mark’s has a lot more up their sleeves than you think!
Winter’s a bit different for the Dad of a toddler, knowing that he could lead you virtually anywhere. Anywhere. Thigh-deep in snow, traipsing through mud… everything’s an adventure when you’re three, and parents have no choice but to tag along for the ride—wherever it goes.
Which is why you need to dress for the occasion!
Along with a new winter coat and making sure to layer up, I made sure to suit up for whatever winter might throw at me with a pair of Sorel Men’s Glacier XT Winter Boots ($179.99!) Built to handle even the most treacherous Canadian winters, it rocks features like:
protection against the elements to the tune of a bone-chilling -73.3ºC
water- and wind-resistant coated uppers and waterproof rubber shells
13mm-thick inner lines with an Omni-Heat™ reflective lining to keep your tootsies toasty
And if you haven’t yet prepared for the big chill (#ShameOnYou), there’s plenty available at Mark’s to keep your warm, like the DH3 HYPER-DRI HD1 Water-Repellent Double Breasted Coat with Fooler ($229.99) paired with a WindRiver Reversible Plaid Beanie ($19.99) and a pair of WindRiver Deerskin TMAX Gloves ($44.99.)
Growing up, my parents always stressed how important it was to have the right footwear for the occasion, so over the years I’ve learned to invest in kicks that help me be my best no matter what life’s throwing at me.
I’d like to think I fare better at my shoe game than most dudes—among my collection of kicks are some black leathers for various formal occasions; some brown leathers when I feel like switching it up; a pair of casuals when I’m out on weekend jaunts with the fam… no matter what the situation, there’s probably a pair in my house to do the trick.
Or so I thought, that is, before I became a Dad.
There’s plenty you don’t really think about before you have kids—the little things we take for granted, because frankly, as adults we just know better. Like how one might find playing around in puddles an unwise idea, since water would wreck most shoes. Or that we adults often stick to marked paths wherever we go, because the roads less travelled often have many a thing we rather not find on the bottom of our shoes.
After enough adventuring around with my mobile Mini-Me, I’ve been lucky enough to dodge permanent damage to whatever I manage to grab every time we dash outside, but it was becoming clear I was in dire need of shoes that could keep up not just with whatever life threw at me, but with whatever my 2½-year old would manage to get himself into.
As if answering my unspoken pleas, Mark’s reconnected with me, helping me pick out some shoes that’d keep me one step ahead of every toddler terror I’d come across!
Which is how I found a pair of size 10½ Helly Hansen Pace Trail Waterproof Shoes on my feet, with features that make them ideal for playing with my kids in all sorts of weather! Anatomically designed uppers to fit the foot’s natural shape. Durable Helly Grip™ outsoles providing solid traction on wet rocks and trails. C-Zone™ technology absorbing shocks on impact. They may look like your ordinary everyday runners, but I assure you—they’ve got what it takes to make running after kids a heckuva lot more comfortable.
Happy Father’s Day from Mark’s — Keeping You Outfitted for the Adventures with Your Kids… One Step at a Time.
But my story is just one Dad’s story. Mark’s wants us to remember our Dads this Father’s Day for everything they’ve done in our lives, and chasing after children to keep them out of trouble is but the tip of the iceberg with fatherhood.
My own experiences with my kids have given me new perspective on everything my father did for my brothers and I, and his tireless efforts over the decades to keep us on the right track may have seemed harsh at times, but I now understand that life could’ve turned out far differently without strong parents in our corners to guide us along the way.
In their Father’s Day video, Mark’s shows the broad spectrum of emotion that Dads bring forth from their children, and that those of us fortunate enough to still have them around should take advantage of that while we can—you never know which day will be the last until it’s behind you… but why wait until it’s too late?
In any case, a very happy Father’s Day from myself and Mark’s—whether you’re receiving or giving the well wishes this June 19th, I hope you make some excellent memories!
Be well and until the next, I remain,
DISCLAIMER: Mark’s was generous enough to compensate me for this post, and now I can chase after my boisterous toddler without worrying about uncomfortably damp socks afterward! You can check them out online, and through their social media profiles on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram!
Tell your wife, tell your kids, tell your husbands: