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Father's Day 2020: Celebrating with Dad

Lauryn Kapiloff
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Lauryn Kapiloff, Brian Kapiloff,

Lauryn Kapiloff and her dad, Brian, sport matching sunglasses on a fishing trip in Galveston. 

As a result of the coronavirus craziness, many holidays and milestones have undergone drastic changes. Events that normally project so much excitement and light into our lives, such as religious observances, birthdays, anniversaries or personal accomplishments, often seem dull and bleak in the days of social distancing. With Father’s Day quickly approaching, it is important to stay positive and resourceful. In doing so, the significance of the holiday can be preserved, and the dads in our lives can still feel the love amidst an uncertain world. If it feels like the pandemic is keeping you from making sure your dad has an awesome day, look no further for some fun Father’s Day ideas - social distance style!

On Father’s Day, my family always gets together with my dad’s side of the family for brunch. If there’s one thing my whole family can agree on it’s that we love to eat - we spend most of our time together as an extended family crowded around my grandma’s dinner table. We share stories from school and work (from playground drama to breakroom gossip), debate hot takes (my aspiring-lawyer sister will argue the most mundane topics - think best Doritos flavor), and discuss summer plans and college applications (definitely a frequent topic although not my favorite). Although our ages range from 8 to 76, my family can always bond over a special meal. If your family is like mine and mourns the loss of going to favorite restaurants but still yearn for a special eating experience, consider an alternate form of celebration. This could be breakfast in bed, an elaborate home-cooked meal, or takeout from Dad’s favorite restaurant. The way to my dad’s heart is through his stomach, and I know he would appreciate any one of these options - as long as the bacon is crispy!

Food is often the epicenter of our family gatherings; however, we also love to spend time together bonding over shared interests and learning new things. I only recently found out that my dad was a JV cheerleader in high school. Believe me, if you know my dad, I was as surprised as you probably are. Aside from perfecting his herkie (see 1988 Lamar yearbook), some of my dad’s favorite activities include fishing, playing golf and tennis, seeing his favorite artists perform at concerts around Houston, and watching our favorite sports teams - Astros, Rockets and Longhorns, of course. 

Recently, my dad took my sister and I fishing in Galveston, where we caught a pretty hefty amount of trout. The next night, we found a recipe, got cooking, and enjoyed our fresh-caught dinner as my dad told stories of the fishing trips he used to take with his own dad. It was a really memorable experience, from braving the crazy conditions out on the boat to digging into our “restaurant-quality” meal. If you’re unable to get out on the water or source your own food, the grocery store is always a good option, and cooking together is the perfect way to make memories with your dad, even if he’s a bit inexperienced with the stovetop like mine is. 

Before the pandemic resulted in the cancellation of all mass gatherings, my dad and I loved going to concerts together. We enjoy bonding over our favorite artists, and my dad likes to say that he has a very diverse palette when it comes to music. Some of my favorite concerts that we’ve gone to together are Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road Tour and Post Malone’s Hollywood’s Bleeding Tour, if that gives you a sense of how broad our music taste is. Although we can’t go to any live shows for the foreseeable future, we still enjoy jamming out to our favorite artists while driving around town. I encourage you to share new music with your dad and discover his childhood favorites. You’d be surprised how much you can learn about a person from the music they enjoy!

In my house, one of the most unfortunate coronavirus cancellations was that of the MLB season. Every year, my sister and I fight over who gets to go to the Astros games with Dad when there are a limited number of tickets. Needless to say, our eagerness for live sports is simply not being satisfied, so we’ve resorted to watching reruns either online or on TV. Some have been really fun to watch, like the 1998 NBA All-Star game that featured basketball legends such as Kobe, MJ and Shaq. Others, however, have been not-so-fun to watch, like Game 2 of the 2019 World Series (somehow, that cursed inning was even more hurtful the second time around). I recommend rewatching games that you can’t exactly remember the outcome of, as it makes the experience feel much more authentic. If reruns just aren’t cutting it for you (I don’t blame you), consider going outside and recreating your own version of the MLB, NBA or NFL. After a few months of regularly playing around with my dad and sister in the yard, I’m proud to say that my Verlander arm is coming along nicely, and I have won a singular game of Horse (impressive, I know). 

Although Father’s Day 2020 will look different in contrast with previous years, it is still possible to celebrate and appreciate your dad and all that he does for you. I hope you take the day this Sunday to enjoy your family’s company and maybe even subside some of the worry you may feel as a result of the pandemic. Happy early Father’s Day, and remember, as my dad always says: “nobody likes limp bacon.” If you're cooking, make sure the bacon's crispy.  

Words of wisdom from Houston dads:

My dad has shared some real pearls of wisdom over the years. See some wise words from other Houston dads.

  • “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice” -Collin Bray, dad of Jack (15), Erin (12), and Emma (9) 
  • “Remember that you can’t become if you only say what you would have done… take action and be a leader.” -Mace Meeks, dad of Molly (19), Mason (21), Michele (24) and Meagan (26)  
  • “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard” -Greg Scheinman, dad of Harper (14) and Auden (16)  
  • “Don’t take the path of least resistance. Plan and work for future happiness, but take time to be happy along the way; the journey is as important as the destination. Don’t settle for less than true love” -Miles Prillaman, dad of Anna (17) and Samuel (28)  
  • “Be kind to others and have fun” -James Feldman, dad of Rachel (19), Josie (15), and Aaron (13)  
  • “Chance favors the prepared mind” -Philip Wise, dad of Laine (12) and Burke (8)  

Editor's note: If you're looking for dine-in or take-out options for Dad, see our Father's Day dining roundup

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